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Contact: Elizabeth Cowles Johnston

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SNA Commends USDA in Supporting Practical Flexibility to Benefit School Meal Programs and Students

2017-05-01

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – School Nutrition Association (SNA) joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue as he released an interim rule seeking regulatory flexibility for school meal programs. Today’s commitment by Secretary Perdue addresses concerns raised in SNA’s 2017 Position Paper, which requested maintaining Target 1 sodium levels and restoring the initial requirement that at least half of grains offered through school meals be whole grain rich.

While SNA supports preserving robust federal rules, the Association has continued to advocate for practical flexibility under federal nutrition standards to help ease menu planning challenges and appeal to diverse student tastes.

“School Nutrition Association is appreciative of Secretary Perdue’s support of school meal programs in providing flexibility to prepare and serve healthy meals that are appealing to students. School nutrition professionals are committed to the students they serve and will continue working with USDA and the Secretary to strengthen and protect school meal programs,” said SNA CEO Patricia Montague, CAE.

Members of SNA have advocated for flexibility to address overly prescriptive regulations that have resulted in unintended consequences, including reduced student lunch participation, higher costs and food waste. The Association recognizes that providing schools practical flexibility has been supported by Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Congressmen Robert Aderholt, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies for the House Appropriations Committee.

In addition to requests for practical flexibility under federal nutrition regulations, SNA has called for protecting school meal programs from block grant proposals and expanding USDA Foods to support the School Breakfast Program.

About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 57,000 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. For more information on school meals, visit www.SchoolNutrition.org/SchoolMeals.

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