Tuesday, October 12, 2010

National School Lunch Week
October 11 – 15, 2010

"In the long view, no nation is healthier than its children,
or more prosperous than its farmers."
- President Harry Truman,
on signing the 1946
National School Lunch Act.

Through the Years

The National School Lunch Program was created in 1946 when President Truman signed the National School Lunch Act into law. The National School Lunch Program is a federal nutrition assistance program. Through the years, the program has expanded to include the School Breakfast Program, Snack Program, Child and Adult Care Feeding Program and the Summer Food Service Program. In 1962, Congress designated the week beginning on the second Sunday in October each year as "National School Lunch Week."

The video below looks at the school lunch program from the late 1930’s to the present day. One can see from the photographs some of the changes in the foods provided. There is an increase in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and lowfat dairy. (Part of the video has clips from a film produced by the USDA in the mid-60s.)

President Obama stated, "The National School Lunch Program will once again become a national priority. Good nutrition at school is more vital than ever, in light of the increased number of children in the US who are obese or overweight.”

Chefs across America are getting involved by creating more nutritious and appealing school meals. "Chefs Move to Schools," is a partnership linking chefs with schools in their communities and has more than 1,900 volunteers creating wholesome meals while teaching students about nutrition and healthy food choices.

USDA is creating a network with local farmers, States, localities, tribal authorities, school districts and community organizations to provide more fruits, vegetables, and other fresh and nutritious foods for school meals.

School Nutrition Association (SNA)

Overview. Recognized as the authority on school nutrition, the SNA has been advancing the availability, quality and acceptance of school nutrition programs as an integral part of education since 1946. The School Nutrition Association is a national, nonprofit professional organization.

Mission. To advance good nutrition for all children.

Healthful meals and nutrition education are available to all children.

The SNA works to ensure all children have access to healthful school meals and nutrition education by:
*Providing members with education and training
*Setting standards through certification and credentialing
*Gathering and transmitting regulatory, legislative, industry, nutritional and other types of information related to school nutrition.
*Representing the nutritional interests of all children.

SNA has launched a new campaign called Tray Talk. The site is designed to emphasize the benefits of school meals and showcase success stories from school nutrition programs nationwide.

http://www.traytalk.org/ - Learn about School Meals, Share your Ideas
Brought to you by the School Nutrition Association

Salad Bar in Every School on WJLA-TV
United Fresh Foundation places salad bars in schools for better child nutrition. WJLA TV in Washington profiles the impact on one area school.

Priceless: School Lunch
"Priceless" launched the One Tray campaign depicting the cafeteria tray as the conduit for a reformed school food system that supports healthy children, local farms, and smart schools. The video was created by three IATP Food and Society Fellows, Shalini Kantayya, Nicole Betancourt, and Debra Eschmeyer to raise awareness for the Child Nutrition Act.

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture stated “National School Lunch Week reminds us how important it is that our children be healthy and active, that they not go hungry, and that they have access to nutritious meals." 
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