Why School Meals Matter Maximizing Opportunities to Support Student Health  and Academic Achievement California Healthy Students Research Project

Why School Meals Matter
Maximizing Opportunities to Support Student Health and Academic Achievement
California Healthy Students Research Project
Lunch Briefing
November 16, 2011
California Food Policy Advocates is a statewide public policy and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of low‐income Californians by increasing their access to nutritious, affordable food.
School Meals
USDA Programs
National School Lunch Program (NSLP) School Breakfast Program (SBP)
Afterschool snacks and meals
Summer meals
• Primarily funded by USDA
– State shares administrative cost, and supplements meal reimbursement
School Meals
California Requirements
• Public schools must make a meal available to low‐income students (usually lunch)
“State meal mandate” – Ed Code 49550 • No requirement that schools serve breakfast or other specific meal Why School Meals Matter
• School meals are a critical part of the safety net
• Students who participate in NSLP and SBP receive over half of their daily nutritional intake at school
• Focus on school meals is a win/win/win:
– benefits students’ health/wellness, – academic achievement and positive behavior,
– district’s finances
Hungry Minds
High Need, Low Participation in CA
Students from low‐income households are eligible for a free or reduced price meal (FRP)
• Over 1 million FRP‐eligible students do not
participate in the National School Lunch Program
• Over 2.3 million FRP‐eligible students do not
participate in the School Breakfast Program. Source: CDE ‐ Nutrition Services Division data for 2009‐10 SY
Revenue for CA School Districts
Additional USDA Reimbursements • $473,270,000 if all students eligible for a FRP meal participated in NSLP
• $297,623,000 if all low‐income students participating in NSLP also participated in SBP. Source: CDE ‐ Nutrition Services Division data for 2008‐09 SY
Poverty and Overweight
Growing Need
• 17 % of California Children live in poverty
• Over 23 % of children 5‐ 20 are overweight and an additional 18% are at risk of overweight
Source: 2007 Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance
Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010
• Nutritional improvements
– Whole grains, low‐fat dairy, reduced sodium, fresh fruits and vegetables
• Strengthening Wellness Policies
• Six cent performance based reimbursement increase
• Farm to School Grants
• Availability of free, fresh drinking water required 9
Fresh & Real Food in Schools
• Fresh food prepared in schools closer to the point of service
– Increased appeal of menus for students
– Opportunity to control nutritional quality
– Decreased food costs, freeing up funds for increased staff training or higher quality ingredients
Challenges to Improving Meals • Training food service staff and directors
• Equipment and facilities
• Image of school food, misperceptions and disconnect between nutrition and academics
• Restrictions on funds available to improve programs
Oakland Unified School District
Nutrition Services
Provides meal service to
101 K-12 schools
20+ Early Childhood Education centers
70% of OUSD students qualify for free/reduced meals
Lunch at all schools
Universal Free Breakfast is served at 95 schools
After school snack is served at 75 schools
After school supper is served at 9 schools
Daily we serve at K-12 schools
– 7,300 breakfasts
– 21,300 lunches
– 8,400 snacks
Oakland Unified School District
Nutrition Services
• Harvest of the Month education program at 37 schools
• Salad Bar Program at 67 Schools
• Produce Markets at 23 Schools
• Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program at 22 Elementary Schools
• Provision II Breakfast & Lunch at 46 schools
Nutrition Services has approximately 250 employees (AFSCME,
UAOS, SEIU, and Confidential)
Nutritional Improvements in OUSD
-High sodium items
-90% of white bread (replaced with whole grain)
-Trans fats and deep fryers
-2% milk
-Chocolate milk offered 1x/wk
-Pizza 1x/wk in Elementary Schools
-Processed food (increasing scratch cooking)
Nutritional Improvements in OUSD
Increased Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
-Salad bars at 67 schools
-“Meatless Mondays” at all schools, only vegetarian entrees
-Fresh fruit at breakfast daily
-Fresh produce at lunch daily
Farm to School
• The 17,000 Mile Asparagus
• Developed 2009-10 SY in partnership with
Community Alliance with Family Farmers
• California Department of Food & Agriculture
• The Produce Business
Salad Bar Program
Far West High School
Oakland Fresh Markets
• Produce Markets at 22 schools
• Partnership with East Bay Asian Youth
• Beginning of Farm to School Program
Nutrition Education
• Harvest of the Month
• Oakland Eats Garden Fresh
• Produce Markets
Cooking Demos
Value of Partnerships
Thought partners
Expansion of services to families
Expansion of funding opportunities
Creation of allies
Current Meal Program Improvement
Implementation of local produce purchasing policy
Expanding breakfast programs and participation
Continued implementation of the Salad Bar Program
serving 5 additional schools.
Expansion of Universal Free Lunch Program
Food Scrap recycling efforts.
Cooking with California Food
The time is now!
There are increasing efforts and awareness at the local, state and federal levels
Team California For Healthy Kids
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
• promote healthy eating and physical activity
• making healthy choices the easy choices
Opportunity for CA to be a leader in supporting school nutrition as a key component of student health and academic achievement
Let’s Move Campaign
HealthierUS Schools Challenge
Rigorous criteria for schools’
• food quality, • participation in meal programs, • physical activity opportunities, • nutrition education
Policy Opportunities
• Build off legislative successes supporting child nutrition
– AB 1413 – Water in Schools
– SB 2084 – Healthy Beverages in Child Care
– SB 12 and 965 – School Nutrition Standards
– SB 490 – Trans Fats
Recognition of School Meals
• Millions of California school children rely on meals each day
– Need to commit to making the meals as healthy and accessible as possible
– Support student nutrition, academics, and district finances
Potential of School Meals
Strong School Meal Programs support
‐ Student health
‐ Academic achievement ‐ Agriculture
‐ Job growth Many connections in support of school meals!
CFPA’s Legislative Agenda
• Bringing the benefits of child nutrition programs to more children by:
– Increasing access
– Increasing participation – Improving nutritional quality
Ellen Braff‐Guajardo, [email protected]
Markell Lewis, [email protected]
OUSD‐Nutrition Services
Jennifer LeBarre, [email protected]
California Food Policy Advocates
BreakfastFirst Campaign