Vending machines in schools are getting a makeover and HUMAN’s CEO, Sean Kelly, recently visited Good Day Sacramento to discuss why.
About Smart Snacks In School
This July 1st, the USDA’s new legislation covering what can be sold in vending machines in schools, a la carte in the cafeteria, in student stores and via fundraising, goes into effect and applies to any of the 100k+ schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program.
Called “Smart Snacks In School,” the rules place standards on ingredients and limits on nutrients (like sugar, sodium, calories and fat) found in snacks and beverages sold as “competitive” (that is, they compete for student spending with federal meal programs). The rules go into effect until 30 minutes after school.
These are the first national updates to competitive food rules in 35 years!
The Controversy Regarding Smart Snacks In School
Whenever there is any change to legislation, there is going to be some contention. The Smart Snacks In School rules are without exception. The Chicago Tribune recently covered a school district that is voting whether to discontinue its participation with the National School Lunch Program so as to avoid having to comply with the rules by July 1st, even though the program currently provides the district with $900,000 in federal subsidies. You can read the article here.
We’ve covered some of the controversy before here, and responded with the following:
“With over 16 million children in America living food-insecure and 31 million relying on the National School Lunch Program as their source for nutritious meals, the motivation behind Smart Snacks In School is clear: kids need better access to more healthful options at school. Perhaps opponents of federal school nutrition policies can keep an open mind so that these initiatives might reach their end-goal and positively affect childhood nutrition.”
If you are a school location, please visit our resource site, which contains actionable steps on how to comply with the rules, here.
If you are a parent or activist and interested in the FAQ related to the rules, please visit our FAQ page here.
For a list of compliant snacks, please click here to receive our Smart Snacks In School Guide.
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