Have you heard the buzz? No, it is not our yellow and black insect friends working to make our flowers bloom. Child nutrition programs are front and center and there is a lot to talk about, and even more importantly, do! Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) is a process that Congress goes through every five years to make changes the rules and programs that apply to all child nutrition programs, which include school breakfast and lunch, summer meals, meals served at child and adult care programs, and the WIC program.
Congress last went through the CNR in 2010, and as a part of the process, created the Farm to School grant program. This kick started a huge movement toward for learning about food, providing hands-on experiences, and supporting local food on school menus. The result has been fresher, food in schools, investment in local communities, and kids that are excited to eat new and healthy foods.
CNR in 2021 is a big deal since it has been over 10 years since Congress has made changes to the programs. CNR plays a big role in not only addressing the health of kids but also the way in which we support our #schoolluncheros and other child nutrition professionals (aka the amazing staff that work every day to feed kids across the country).
This act will create a pilot grant program to support food education in classrooms. Food education includes hands-on learning, school gardens, taste testing. Teaching kids about where their food comes from gives them the chance to see how things are connected between the classroom, cafeteria, and communication. These lessons make it more likely for kids to enjoy food and make healthy choices for life.
Farm to School Act 2021
This act triples the funding that supports the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. With this extra money, the farm to school grant program will expand access to school serving children in under-resourced districts and fully include childcare programs.
Kids Eat Local Act
The current rules make it hard for schools and farms to work together. Every dollar spent on local food can create up to $2.16 to be spent in local communities. This act would make it easier for school district to buy local foods for their menus. This act does not raise the cost of school meals or increase costs to the government
This billwill provide the funding needed for schools to upgrade their kitchen equipment and provide training to staff on recipes and skills needed to make it easier to serve fresh, healthy foods to kids.
Join us in helping Congress understand that we need to invest in a healthier generation – they need to hear from you!
for healthy kids and healthy schools!