Healthy Hunger Free Kids

Hunger Task Force supports the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids act reauthorized core child nutrition programs that are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture: National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Programs and WIC.

Goals for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids act:

  • To improve children’s diets by updating the school meal nutrition standards according to the recommendations issued by The Institute of Medicine.
  • To bring school meal standards in-line with the latest nutritional science and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • To establish goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity and wellness.
  • To establish guidelines to promote health and reduce obesity.
  • To feed kids nutritious meals and to combat childhood hunger.

In January 2012, one year after the law was signed by President Obama, the USDA issued updated standards for school meals that were mandated by the HHFK Act. Beginning in 2012-13, schools are phasing in the new nutrition standards over a three-year period. Schools will focus on changes in lunches in the first year, with most changes in breakfast to take place in future years.

The new meal standards:

  • More fruits and vegetables at lunch, and the amount of fruits will double at breakfast beginning school year 2014/15.
  • Whole grains are increased substantially.
  • Ensure students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week.
  • Substantially increase offerings of whole grain-rich foods and low-fat milk or fat-free milk varieties.
  • Limit calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size.
  • Focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, transfats and sodium.

The new standards are designed to ensure that children have the energy they need to learn in class and be physically active, while reducing their risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other serious chronic diseases.

  • The new school meals are designed to meet only a portion of a child's nutritional needs over the course of the school day.
  • Schools and families have options to help meet the needs of highly active students who may need additional calories, such as athletes.

The HHFK Act introduced the first major changes in Child Nutrition programs in over 15 years. These changes are important to the 83.4% of MPS students who qualify for free and reduced-price school lunch and the nearly 30,000 who eat a school breakfast each school day.

 

Show your support and sign our online petition.

 
 

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