School Food Services

While the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act aims to provide students with healthy and fulfilling school meals, some of the stringent nutrition standards required by the Act have resulted in a decrease in meal participation across the nation, especially at the high school level. PASBO seeks to ensure that students receive healthy food options to meet their nutritional needs and that schools can provide these healthy and nutritious meals without incurring significantly increased costs, administrative burden and risking revenue losses.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization: While the Senate Agriculture Committee approved the child nutrition authorization bill, the “Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016”, the House Education & Workforce Committee is currently working on their version of the proposal, which should be revealed later this month.
While we’re waiting for details about the House’s efforts, just a quick recap of what was in the Senate version of the bill:

  • Delay the shift to Target 2 sodium levels until July 1, 2019;
  • Reduction of the whole grain requirement from 100% to 80%;
  • Study of the impact of the a la carte restrictions and potential exceptions;
  • Development of guidance for the use and safety of salad bars and sharing tables;
  • Modifications to the verification framework for free/reduced price meal applications. This would require a maximum verification of 10% of school meal applications and a minimum verification of 3% of school meal applications. Districts could qualify for reductions from the 10% requirement based upon certain criteria, and the pool of students eligible for the verification is expanded to include students who are directly certified as well as other categorically eligible students. The new requirements would not apply to schools participating in the Community Eligibility Program.

Again, there is still a long way to go in the process of child nutrition reauthorization, and many changes to the Senate proposal will likely be made. A section-by-section summary of the Senate bill is available HERE, and the full text of the bill is available HERE

PASBO Federal Regulatory Actions

Legislation and Policy on School Food Services and Nutrition