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School Nutrition Professionals Welcome Release of Final School Meal Nutrition Standards

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
301-686-3124 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

School Nutrition Professionals Welcome Release of Final School Meal Nutrition Standards

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (January 25, 2012) – The School Nutrition Association (SNA), representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals nationwide, welcomed today’s release of the US Department of Agriculture’s final regulations updating the meal pattern for school breakfast and lunch. The rule requires all schools participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to serve more fruits, vegetables and whole grains with school meals, while limiting sodium and calories. Later today, SNA President Helen Phillips, SNS, and SNA Chief Executive Officer Frank DiPasquale will attend First Lady Michelle Obama’s event to announce the new standards.

SNA has long advocated for increased support to help provide the healthy, well-balanced school meals served to nearly 32 million students each day and to ensure healthier options are available in every school cafeteria. Through its extensive education and credentialing programs, SNA has been helping school nutrition professionals improve the nutrition and quality of school meals while achieving goals like HealthierUS School Challenge certification.

“For over 65 years, school nutrition professionals have been feeding America’s students and constantly working to improve the nutrition and quality of the meals we serve,” said Phillips. “Through healthier choices and nutrition education, school meal programs have made tremendous strides to promote better food choices for America’s students. These national nutrition standards will help school nutrition professionals build on their successes. For schools hampered by tight budgets or limited equipment and staff, School Nutrition Association will continue to provide training and support to help school nutrition professionals achieve the new meal pattern.”

“The US Department of Agriculture has devoted extensive time and effort to develop the new meal pattern,” said DiPasquale. “Throughout this arduous process, School Nutrition Association conveyed the challenges and limitations of school nutrition directors and industry partners as they work to provide healthier choices for America’s students. We appreciate USDA’s efforts to address these concerns and look forward to continuing to support schools as they rise to meet these new standards.”

School Nutrition Association’s “School Nutrition Operations Report: The State of School Nutrition 2011” reveals school cafeterias across the country have made dramatic progress in improving the quality of school meals. To read success stories and see videos from school cafeterias, visit www.TrayTalk.org.

For up to date information on the new School Meal Nutrition Standards, visit www.schoolnutrition.org.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. To find out more about today’s school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.

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