Report-highlights-recommendations-for-improving-school-food-in-New-Orleans

Report highlights recommendations for improving school food in New Orleans

Report highlights recommendations for improving school food in New Orleans
Fitting New Orleans – Issue 9
August 26, 2010

The New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee (FPAC) will present recommendations for improving the food environment in local schools to the New Orleans City Council on Thursday, August 26.

The recommendations emphasize practical steps the state, city, school districts and individual schools can take to transform school lunch and provide healthy food and learning opportunities to all schoolchildren.

Louisiana's obesity rates and related illnesses are some of the highest in the nation. One in five children in Louisiana is at risk of hunger and the same proportion is obese.

The FPAC report emphasizes improving school meals by exceeding minimum USDA nutritional standards, serving more fruits, vegetables and foods prepared from fresh ingredients, sourcing regionally grown food, and investing in infrastructure and staff development to implement these changes.

Other recommendations include increasing access to child nutrition programs such as free school meals and summer feeding programs; integrating healthy food education into curricula and school culture; and ensuring that high-calorie, low-nutrient snacks foods are not sold on school campuses.

"If we want our children to learn, grow and thrive, it is imperative that they have consistent access to healthy food" says Ashley Graham, FPAC Co-Chair. "Intervening at the school level can help ensure that at least two meals a day are available and nutritious, and help children establish healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime."

FPAC was established in 2007 as an advisory body to the New Orleans City Council. The school food committee's diverse membership ranges from public health experts and school leaders to food service professionals and local food, child welfare and anti-hunger advocates.

The group convened monthly throughout the 2009-2010 school year to research best practices and model school meal programs, identify barriers to transforming school food programs, and work collectively to form policy recommendations. The recommendations will be published in an FPAC report entitled "Stepping up to the plate: Transforming school food in New Orleans." A press conference will be held in September to release the report to the public and field questions.

Click here to sign up for “Fitting New Orleans.”

Topics:   school food , childhood obesity , diet , nutrition , policy

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