During the 2011 School Nutrition Association national convention now underway in Nashville, Tennessee – USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Janey Thornton is highlighting the importance of USDA Foods and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Thornton has joined thousands of school nutrition professionals at the three-day event – which offers an opportunity for a dialogue on the administration’s efforts to ensure healthier meals in the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs.
Thornton says by working closely with our school nutrition professionals we are creating the healthy school environment needed to ensure our children are engaged and productive learners. With one in every three children in America at risk for preventable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease due to overweight and obesity – school nutrition improvements are an investment in improving our children’s future and are critical to helping them maintain optimal health.
USDA purchases between 15 and 20-percent of the foods served in school meals which include fruits, vegetables and whole grains – and foods that are lower in fat, salt and added sugars than ever before. School meals currently reach nearly 32-million children each school day nationwide – and many children consume as many as half their daily calories at school.