USDA has released a number of resources to assist school districts in addressing calorie limits in school meals as well as athletic students in need of after school snacks.
On October 2, 2012, USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon sent a letter to Regional Directors to explain and address concerns about the calorie limits with the new meal standards. You can read the full letter here. In addition, USDA’s initiative, the School Day Just Got Healthier has released 2 fact sheets. One fact sheet addresses the calorie maximums in school meals and provides tips to encourage student acceptance and anotherfact sheet addresses athletic programs in schools and afterschool meal service options available. These resources and many other tools to support implementation of the nutrition standards are available at www.schoolnutrition.org/mealpattern. In addition, SNA has PR resources, including tips for working with the media available at www.schoolnutrition.org/pr.
SNA has developed new resources to respond to negative news stories featuring student complaints about school meals and new calorie/portion limits. SNA continues to promote positive stories to national media outlets, but to respond to specific inquiries and complaints in your communities, members are invited to use the talking points and customizable letter to the editor found at this link: Defending Schools Meals. Members are also encouraged to share SNA’s new 30 second Public Service Announcement, featuring school foodservice professionals and the delicious, nutritious food they serve. To download the video, visit http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Content.aspx?id=17914. These resources and other PR tools, including tips for dealing with the media, can all be found at www.schoolnutrition.org/pr.
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