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Improved nutrition for meals served in America’s schools is right step forward

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama joined Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at an elementary school in Alexandria, Va., to speak with parents about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new and improved nutrition standards for school lunches. As part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, USDA is making the first major changes in school meal standards in more than 15 years.

We applaud the First Lady, Secretary Vilsack and USDA for bringing much-needed change to school meals. The new standards will significantly improve the nutrition of school meals by offering students fruits and vegetables every day, whole-grain-rich foods and fat-free or low-fat milk. The standards wisely call for two servings of vegetables per meal and set limits on salt, fat and total calories for a meal. These healthy changes reinforce what many parents are already encouraging at home.

One of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s (WKKF) core beliefs is that all people – particularly vulnerable children – deserve access to good food. Schools are public tables from which 30 million children eat up to two-thirds of their meals. Improving the nutritional quality of the food we serve our children at school directly impacts their health and well-being.

Through its Food & Community program, WKKF supports local school food initiatives and invests in organizations working to develop healthier generations of children, including School Food FOCUS, National Farm to School NetworkHealthy Schools Campaign and FoodCorps.

More information about the new standards can be found on the USDA Blog. The complete standards are also available from USDA.

Learn more about the Kellogg Foundation’s Food & Community Program at www.foodandcommunity.org.

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