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School nutrition trending: USDA extends emergency feeding waivers, Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act led to significant decline in childhood obesity

Videos from Minneapolis K-12 chef get families cooking with take-home food boxes, San Diego Unified School District feeds kids across all economic backgrounds with grab-and-go items through summer break and more trending stories

This month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the extension of multiple coronavirus emergency feeding waivers through the end of the 2020-2021 school year, along with a new waiver on offer-versus-serve requirements at the high school level. The extension will allow school meal programs to continue grab-and-go meal pickup for distance learners, serve meals to students in the classroom or adjust meal service in the event of sudden COVID-19 school closures through the next school year. Additionally, USDA announced a new waiver to address offer versus serve requirements at the high school level.

A study was released on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act where the authors of the study in Health Affairs found that since healthier nutrition standards for school meals rolled out in the 2012-2013 school year, there’s been a significant decrease in the risk for obesity among children living in poverty. The authors say this is the first study to directly measure the impact of the nutrition standards, which were the first update to those standards in 15 years. 

And, in a K-12 edition of our stories from the front lines series, Gary Petill, director of the food and nutrition services department for the San Diego Unified School District, speaks about how he partnered with food banks and the Humane Society to reach students and families at all economic levels as well as entertain kids on summer break.

See what else was trending on Food Management.

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