USDA’s final rule for Local School Wellness Policies

Perfectly timed with the beginning on a new school year The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) just released its final rule for Local School Wellness Policies. Each school districts participating in federal nutrition programs such as the National School Lunch or Breakfast Programs are required to have a Local School Wellness Policy that addresses goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness and rely on evidence-based strategies. Districts must fully comply with the requirements of the final rule by June 30, 2017.

The rules will make great strides to promote integrity across the school meals programs. Here are a few highlights to be aware of:

  • School districts are now required to allow certain stakeholders (including: parents, students, school food staff, physical education teachers, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators, and members of the general public) to participate in the development, implementation, and periodic review and update of the local school wellness policy.
  • The new rule will disallow the marketing of unhealthy foods in schools. This includes à la carte items sold in the cafeteria, through school stores, vending machines, or many on-campus fundraisers.
  • Local school wellness policy must include nutritional guidelines standards for all foods being sold and available to students on campus.
  • Local school wellness policies must be made available to the public on at least an annual basis.

In addition to the Local School Wellness Policy ruling, USDA also release of the final rules for Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School (Smart Snacks), Community Eligibility Provision, and Administrative Reviews;

Establishing a firm platform for building on the progress schools across the country have made to improved nutritional quality of meals served in schools. CWN and our sister program California Project LEAN have expertise available to guide your team to effectively work with school districts, wellness committees, parents and youth to facilitate these changes to become compliant with the new federal rules. For more information please contact us at info@wellness.phi.org

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