Things were cookin’ in Nashville last month, and not just the July weather in this vibrant southern city. At the historic Opryland Hotel, we joined our partners at the School Nutrition Association’s annual convention to show how USDA Foods are increasingly vital to the health of our nation’s schoolchildren.
The culinary demo was led by local chef and Nashville public school dad David Owens, who wowed convention attendees and members of the media with baked chicken in fruit sauce, vegetarian chili, and vegetable rice. But the exhibition was about more than creating great tasting meals. Along with Nashville Education and Training Coordinator Deborah Walker, Chef Owens emphasized practicing safe and healthy preparation, choosing reasonably priced options, and integrating ingredients relevant and appealing to the modern school nutrition program. Read more »
By Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
The timing of the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) annual legislative action conference couldn’t have been better as USDA and the Obama Administration continue working on advancing the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. I really appreciated the opportunity to address the national organization representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals who are on the front lines of the effort to improve the health and nutrition of our nation’s children.
Last month, SNA announced their support for First Lady Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity initiative and agreed to a number of key steps to further improve the nutritional quality of school meals and advance nutrition education for America’s students. SNA is an important partner in our efforts to improve the health of our children and reduce childhood hunger throughout the country.
SNA knows that the answer to improving child nutrition and combating obesity lies in our ability to work together and bring everyone on board this effort. I am pleased that I could speak with them about joining me as I challenged parents, educators, and community leaders to double the number of HealthierUS Schools across the country in the next year. All have us have a stake in working together to improve the health and nutrition of our children and in turn the future of our nation.
Earlier in the week, First Lady Michelle Obama also attended the SNA conference to talk about her Let’s Move! initiative and its focus on raising a generation of kids to be healthy adults. The proposed enhancements to the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act that the Obama Administration put forward form the legislative centerpiece of the First Lady’s campaign and our efforts to ensure the health of our youngsters.
We are encouraged by the leadership that the School Nutrition Association and others have demonstrated. Looking forward we are excited to work with SNA and other organizations to encourage America’s families to get involved in school nutrition programs and promote physical activity and healthy eating at home.
This post was originally featured on the Let’s Move! Blog.