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SNA Responds To Institute Of Medicine’s Recommendations For The National School Lunch And Breakfast Programs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Diane Pratt-Heavner, School Nutrition Association
(301) 686-3124

media@schoolnutrition.org

SNA Responds to Institue of Medicine's Recommendations for the National School Lunch  and Breakfast Programs

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (October 20, 2009) – Today, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released “School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children,” issuing recommendations to update the nutrition and meal standards for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Programs.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) welcomed the recommendations and called on Congress to provide school nutrition programs with the financial support necessary to bring these changes to the lunch line.

“School nutrition programs offer children well-balanced, healthy meals, but just like our students, we are constantly working to improve ourselves,” said School Nutrition Association President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS, and executive director of Food and Child Nutrition Services for the Dallas Independent School District in Texas.  “The Institute of Medicine’s recommendations offer schools critical guidance for ongoing efforts to enhance the nutrition of school meals. 

“However, school nutrition programs, long under-funded and pressured by rising costs, will need more than just ‘Building Blocks’ to improve on our success,” said Rivas.  “Congress needs to provide the mortar through higher federal reimbursement rates for school meals.”

SNA’s 2009 School Nutrition Operations Report found that nationwide, nearly every school district offers students fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and salad bars or pre-packaged salads, and nearly all school districts prepare at least some of their bakery items, entrees or side dishes from scratch.

Yet an SNA report released last week found that school nutrition programs are increasingly pressured by rising costs and a federal reimbursement rate for free lunches that doesn’t keep up with the expense of preparing a meal.  SNA is calling on Congress to provide greater federal support for school meals during reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act this fall.

The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

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Related Links

School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children - Institute of Medicine Report