USDA raises School Meal Successes in celebration of National School Lunch Week and Farm to School Month

Washington, October 13, 2023 – This week, the USDA joined college students, mother and father, caregivers, faculties, communities, and companions throughout the nation in celebrating Nationwide College Lunch Week, as introduced by President Biden. October can be Farm to College Month, which acknowledges the advantages of incorporating wholesome, domestically grown meals into college meals.

“College meals are the first supply of diet for roughly 30 million youngsters each college day,” mentioned Deputy Below Secretary for Meals, Diet and Shopper Providers Stacey Dean. “USDA applauds college diet professionals, lecturers, farmers, producers, and different group champions who make it their mission to nourish college students within the classroom and lunchroom. The Biden-Harris Administration will proceed to spend money on our nation’s future by supporting applications and efforts that enhance the well being and well-being of our kids.”

USDA is happy to spotlight a number of the many success tales throughout the nation of colleges which can be creatively leveraging assets – each their very own and USDA’s – to assist youngsters attain their full potential by nutritious college meals.

Bettering the standard of faculty meals

Patrick Leahy Farm to College Program

USDA continues to help recent, native meals in all baby diet applications by the Patrick Leahy Farm to College Program, together with granting $10.7 million to help 103 farm to high school initiatives earlier this 12 months. Functions for the subsequent spherical of Farm to College grants are open now by January 12, 2024. To obtain updates concerning the Patrick Leahy Farm to College program and grant functions, subscribe to The Filth, this system’s month-to-month e-newsletter.

success story: Kids in Hillsborough County, Florida, can get nutritious, selfmade college meals due to robust partnerships with native farmers. As a result of the varsity district makes use of the Neighborhood Eligibility Provision, often known as CEP, these meals are supplied with out households having to fill out functions. Learn their story.

A group of children eating corn

Gear help grants for the Nationwide College Lunch Program

This 12 months, the USDA awarded $30 million to assist college districts throughout the nation buy tools to arrange and serve nutritious meals that meet dietary administration necessities. These investments additionally make it simpler for faculties to include recent meals into their cooking, equivalent to these provided by farm-to-school applications.

success story: Carroll County Faculties in Kentucky obtained an Gear Help Grant from the Kentucky Division of Schooling that allowed them to exchange their kitchen ovens — which had been in service for greater than 25 years — with new and improved ovens that cook dinner extra effectively. This has allowed them to incorporate extra native meals of their scrumptious college meals. He learns extra.

Students are served food and enjoy lunch
Increasing entry to high school meals

Offering group eligibility

Final month, the USDA introduced a last rule that offers an estimated 3,000 further college districts in high-need areas the choice to offer wholesome college meals to all college students for gratis. This selection is made attainable by a group eligibility requirement, when state and native funds can be found to cowl further prices not lined by federal funds. Within the 2022-23 college 12 months, 19.9 million college students benefited from CEP in additional than 6,400 college districts nationwide.

College diet leaders from across the nation tout the constructive outcomes of offering free college breakfast and lunch to their college students:

“The CEP program has reworked the panorama of faculty meal applications in West Virginia for the higher. With the CEP program, extra college students take part in class meal applications, and when meals are free and available, there aren’t any monetary obstacles to accessing nutritious meals. This participation had Growing college breakfasts and lunches have constructive impacts on college students’ well being, well-being, and tutorial engagement. Moreover, the momentum generated by CEP has motivated our communities to make sure our kids are fed exterior of faculty by supporting college meals pantries and backpack applications. —Amanda Harrison, Director, Workplace of Youngster Diet , West Virginia Division of Schooling

“The New Mexico Division of Public Schooling’s work with CEP has helped implement common free meals in New Mexico. Over the previous few years, our poverty numbers have elevated, which has elevated the variety of faculties collaborating within the Neighborhood Schooling Program. CEP has been instrumental in permitting For greater than 80% of New Mexico’s poorest faculties and districts by offering free breakfast and lunch to all enrolled college students with out accumulating take-home orders. -Michael Chavez, Director, Workplace of Pupil Success and Wellness, New Mexico Division of Public Instruction

FNS Director Cindy Lengthy notes, “Though there may be nonetheless extra work forward to make sure each Okay-12 pupil within the nation has entry to wholesome college meals for gratis, each state is taking motion to increase entry to College meals deliver us nearer to attaining this purpose.”

Wholesome college meals for everybody

Eight states have taken everlasting motion to make sure that starvation just isn’t a barrier to youngsters’s success. California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico and Vermont have handed state legal guidelines permitting their faculties to offer wholesome college breakfasts and lunches to all of their college students for gratis.

Direct accreditation of Medicaid demonstration initiatives

USDA continues to increase its direct approval of Medicaid demonstration initiatives, which ensures that eligible youngsters in households receiving Medicaid advantages mechanically obtain free or reduced-price college meals with out their households finishing an utility. Demonstration initiatives have been applied in 38 states, and USDA will invite extra states to take part. Within the 2019-2020 college 12 months, 1.4 million college students obtained free and reduced-price college meals due to direct certification by Medicaid.

Associated Assets

USDA’s Meals and Diet Service works to finish starvation and enhance meals and diet safety by a bunch of 16 meals help applications, equivalent to college breakfast and lunch applications, WIC and SNAP. Collectively, these applications serve one in 4 People year-round, selling constant and equitable entry to wholesome, protected, and inexpensive meals important for optimum well being and well-being. FNS additionally offers science-based dietary suggestions by the co-development of the Dietary Tips for People. The FNS report, “Leveraging the White Home Convention to Strengthen and Elevate Meals Safety: The Position of the USDA Meals and Diet Service,” highlights methods the company will help the Biden-Harris administration’s nationwide technique, launched together with the historic White Home Convention on Starvation and Diet and Well being in September 2022. To study extra about FNS, go to and comply with us:

  • Twitter/X: Be part of our group @USDAnutritionthe place we offer updates to our 110,000+ followers on all the pieces that is taking place throughout our reveals.
  • Instagram: Comply with our new MyPlate account @myplate_gov to see how scrumptious and enjoyable diet may be, chunk by chunk!
  • Nationwide Newsletters: Signal as much as obtain updates on all or any of our meals help applications and get nationwide information releases, blogs, coverage updates and different information.
  • Regional Newsletters: Keep updated on how our applications are making a distinction in your native and regional group.


USDA is an equal alternative supplier, employer and lender.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: