The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is bemoaning how new school lunch standards have a cast a pall on National School Lunch Week (October 13-17).
The new standards are causing schools to employ creative marketing techniques to address the higher costs and declining participation prompted by the new standards, SNA said: “These efforts to promote fruits, vegetables and other nutritious choices included in school meals are more critical than ever as school meal programs face challenges, including declining lunch participation and revenue, escalating food costs and waste.”
While the SNA supports efforts to improve school lunch menus and encourage healthy eating habits, it warns that the USDA research shows the new standards will cost schools an extra $1.2 billion in the new fiscal year – even as more than a million students have dropped out of the school lunch program:
“National School Lunch Week is a time to celebrate healthy school meals, but this year, the professionals who prepare these meals are worried about the future of the National School Lunch Program,” said SNA CEO Patricia Montague, CAE.
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