A student works hard on her assignment while eating a grab ‘n’ go breakfast in Mikelle Caine’s second grade advance class at Lake Forest Elementary School, Sandy Springs, Ga., (USDA photo by Debbie Smoot).
Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I have to agree especially when it comes to children. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast helps keep kids alert and focused on learning rather than lunch. But not every child eats a nutritious breakfast at home. In fact, even though 32 million students participate in the National School Lunch Program each day, only 12 million students eat a school breakfast daily. That means we have to continue to work to get those school breakfast numbers up! Read more »
Under Secretary Kevin Concannon takes a photo of his lunch mates last month at Arcola Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md. Concannon presented all 132 Montgomery County Elementary Schools with Healthier US Schools Challenge Bronze awards.
Every child deserves to have the tools they need to succeed in the classroom. That’s reason enough to recognize the nutritional accomplishments of our school meals programs during National School Lunch Week, Oct. 10-14. But there is more to celebrate… Read more »
In August I went back to school with students in Albany and Newton, Ga., to see how healthy school meals help students get their “S.W.A.G. on” and prepare for success.
In Albany, 400 Sherwood Acres Elementary Magnet School students celebrated school breakfast, many wearing S.W.A.G. t-shirts, which stands for “Students with Academic Greatness!”
Vanessa Hayes, Dougherty County Schools Director of Child Nutrition Services, explained, “We understand that good nutrition is the fuel for the educational vehicle.” Read more »
Right now, parents are making sure their children are ready to head back to school after the summer. Their checklist to get ready might include new shoes or a new backpack – paper, pens and other supplies.
At USDA, we are working to add another item to the list: nutritious meals and healthy lifestyles for all of America’s children.
If we want to build a strong economy and win the future, then we also need to win the race to educate our kids. And that means making sure that the 32 million kids who eat school lunches every day are fueled by the healthiest, most nutritious food we can provide. Read more »
“So, how fortunate are you? Are you free? Can you eat?”
-Excerpt from JCPA Hunger Seder Haggadah
On Thursday, April 14th, US Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon and several representatives from the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships joined Members of Congress and members of the anti-hunger community to observe an annual “Hunger” Passover Seder in an intimate gathering at the Capitol Visitors Center. Sponsored by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), this third annual Hunger Seder, and over 40 others like it across 22 states, told the traditional story of oppression, struggle and ultimate liberation, but with a unique voice and group of participants. Similar Hunger Seders were held across the country, coordinated by JCPA. Collectively, the group reflected on an oppression still present in our communities today– that of hunger and poverty — and asked each person to renew their dedication to justice and pledge their efforts toward nourishing and protecting vulnerable people in our communities. Read more »
When the First Lady kicked off the Let’s Move! initiative last year, she said that her primary goal is to end childhood obesity. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act gets to the heart of this effort by helping schools, parents, and communities make health and nutrition a priority for kids. Among the law’s many reforms, schools that participate in the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) school lunch program will have to make drinking water available for free to students in the cafeteria during lunch. With this change we want to make the healthy choice the easy choice for our kids.
Schools must also offer at least two choices of low fat or fat free milk. These changes are consistent with what is recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, just updated earlier this year. The Dietary Guidelines are a set of science-based recommendations that include many tips for improving health and wellness. Read more »