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Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
SNA Releases 2018 Position Paper
School Nutrition Professionals Urge Congress to Support School Meal Programs
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – The non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) has issued a new call on Congress to oppose any school meal block grant proposal and provide greater support to school nutrition programs, which contribute to the health and academic success of students. The 57,000-member association has released its 2018 Position Paper, outlining SNA’s legislative priorities in advance of its 46th annual Legislative Action Conference (March 4-6).
“Thirty million students depend on school meals as a key source of nutrition each day. American families cannot afford for Congress to dismantle the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs through a dangerous block grant experiment,” said SNA President Dr. Lynn Harvey, RDN, LDN, FAND, SNS. “Block grants would slash child nutrition budgets and void federal rules that protect America’s most vulnerable students. At a time when too many communities are reeling in the wake of natural disasters, fixed-sum block grants would also leave school meal programs without adequate funding to support students in urgent need of assistance following unanticipated financial hardships.” Click here for details on block grants.
As Congress drafts a new Farm Bill, the Association is also calling for passage of H.R. 3738, the Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act. The bipartisan bill would expand USDA Foods, or commodities, to support school breakfast. “Research has shown that school breakfast consumption supports students’ academic achievement, improved classroom behavior and attendance. With USDA Foods support, schools will have more resources to invest in expanding breakfast programs and increasing the variety of US grown fruits and vegetables on breakfast menus,” said Harvey. Click here for details on H.R. 3738.
SNA also urges Congress to monitor USDA’s efforts to provide school meal program flexibility. The Association supports practical flexibility under federal regulations to ease menu planning challenges, while maintaining strong standards for students. The Position Paper reiterates that USDA’s final regulations, expected in fall 2018, should maintain Target 1 sodium levels and restore the initial requirement that at least half of grains offered through school meals be whole grain rich. Click here for details on federal nutrition standards.
In March, school nutrition professionals from across the country will participate in SNA’s 46th annual Legislative Action Conference (March 4-6) at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. LAC’s “Charge to the Hill” will allow SNA members to meet with their representatives and discuss the 2018 Position Paper.
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.