Local School Wellness Policies and Related News

Local School Wellness Policies and Related News

One section of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 requires that all school districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program have local wellness policies by July 1, 2006. The School Nutrition Association (formerly ASFSA) has put together tools to help assist the school community in dealing with this new requirement.

Well Done! School Nutrition Professionals Put Wellness Policies to Work
This spring 2008 publication from the School Nutrition Association provides inspiration and practical ideas for all in the school community who are committed to fostering healthy eating habits in children. School nutrition professionals from districts of all sizes and all across the country share experiences relating to gaining support from principals, teachers, parents and students; establishing cafeteria-based nutrition education programs; finding products to meet new nutrition standards; developing staff wellness programs and making operational changes.

From Cupcakes to Carrots: Local Wellness Policies One Year Later
This report released in September 2007 tracks implementation progress of wellness policy topics including nutrition education, physical activity and nutrition guidelines. Of the 97% of school districts that addressed nutrition standards for National School Lunch Program meals in their wellness policies, more than 92% state that they have completed implementation.

SNA Local Wellness Policy Guidelines
The School Nutrition Association’s Executive Board and Nutrition Committee have unanimously approved the Local Wellness Policy Guidelines. The Guidelines serve as a tool to use when creating local wellness policies for your school districts.

Foundation for the Future: Analysis of Local Wellness Policies from the 100 Largest School Districts
On October 10, 2006, SNA released a report summarizing the characteristics of the wellness policies approved by the 100 largest school districts by enrollment.

Foundation for the Future II: Analysis of Local Wellness Policies from 140 School Districts in 49 States
The above report was followed by a second report released in December 2006 examining wellness policies approved by a wide variety of school districts in 49 states.

Local Wellness Policies Frequently Asked Questions
Look here for responses to our most frequently asked questions.

Sample Wellness Policies
Sample Wellness Policies are available for your consideration and may be used as a resource in the development or implementation of your local wellness policy. If you are interested in using these samples as a resource, please contact SNA’s Child Nutrition & Policy Center at (800) 877-8822.

Overview of the Local Wellness Policy Presentation
Use this PowerPoint presentation to bring yourself and other school administrators up to speed about what the law requires and what your district needs to do about it.

Several states have enacted competitive foods guidelines. In addition, several third party organizations also have compiled lists of nutritious snacks and beverages for à la carte lines and vending machines. Refer to the resources for more information about Local Wellness Policy Development and Implementation, Healthy School Environment, Nutrition Education, Fundraising in Schools, and Nutrition Guidelines.

Details of the Law

The new law says that, at a minimum, the local policies should include:

  • goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and nutrition guidelines selected by the local educational agency for all foods available on each school campus;
  • establish a plan for measuring implementation of the local wellness policy;
  • and involve parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, the school board, school administrators, and the public in the development of the school wellness policy.

The new law does not say what the details of the local policy should be, but does require that the policies be adopted by the first day of the 2006 school year. To meet this date, school districts should begin their process this year. That process must include forming the task force or working group described in the law to develop the local policy. The law requires that the group include a representative of the school food program. This offers a leadership opportunity for school food service professionals.