Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010


This proposed rule would require all local educational agencies participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program to meet expanded local school wellness policy requirements consistent with the new requirements set forth in section 204 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This proposed rule would establish the framework for the content of the local school wellness policies, ensure stakeholder participation in the development of such policies, and require periodic assessment of compliance and reporting on the progress toward achieving the goals of the local school wellness policy. This proposed rule would also require local educational agencies, as part of the local school wellness policy, to implement policies for the marketing of foods and beverages on the school campus during the school day consistent with nutrition standards for Smart Snacks. Additionally, this proposed rule would require each local educational agency to make information about local school wellness policy implementation for all participating schools available to the public on a periodic basis. The provisions of this proposed rulemaking would ensure local educational agencies establish and implement local school wellness policies that meet minimum standards designed to support a school environment that promotes sound nutrition and student health, reduces childhood obesity, and provides transparency to the public on school wellness policy content and implementation.

Source: Federal Register, Volume 79 Issue 38

Available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-02-26/html/2014-04100.htm

FY 2015 Farm to School Grant Program Funds Available | Food and Nutrition Service

The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. New in FY 2015, USDA will make approximately an additional $500,000 available to eligible entities to support conferences, trainings, and events focused on farm to school program development. In this funding round, USDA is soliciting applications for four types of grants:

Planning grants are intended for school districts or schools just starting to incorporate farm to school program elements into their operations.

Implementation grants are intended for school districts or schools to help scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.

Support Service grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities working with school districts or schools to further develop existing farm to school initiatives and to provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives.

Proposals for planning, implementation, and support service grants are due at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, April 30, 2014. A 25% cash or in-kind match of the total project cost is required.

Conference/Event grants are open to all interested parties. They are intended to support conferences, events and trainings that strengthen farm to school supply chains, or conferences, events and trainings that provide technical assistance in the area of local procurement, food safety, culinary education and integration of agriculture‐based curriculum.

Letters of Intent for Conference/Event grants are due at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, April 2, 2014.

Important Dates and Deadlines

February 19, 2014: Request for Applications Released

April 2, 2014: Conference/Event Letters of Intent due via email (11:59 p.m. Eastern Time)

April 30, 2014: Planning, Implementation, and Support service proposals due via grants.gov (11:59 p.m. Eastern Time)

November 2014: Awards Announced and Funds Available (pending the availability of federal funds)

Webinars to Learn More

USDA will host four webinars to assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. All webinars will be recorded and available via this webpage within 1-2 weeks of initial viewing.

Planning Grant Webinar: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Implementation Grant Webinar: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Support Service Grant Webinar: Thursday, March 13, 2014 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Conference/Event Grant Webinar: Friday, March 14 – 1:00 p.m. EST

There is no registration required. Both and Internet connection and telephone line are required in order to view and listen to the webinar. Sound will not come through your computer speakers. To view the webinar via Live Meeting, click here. To listen to the webinar, dial 888-989-7679 and use the passcode 3915580.

Source: Federal Register

Available at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/fy-2015-farm-school-grant-program-funds-available

Affordable Care Act support for school-based health centersWill create jobs, increase access to care for thousands of children


Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than $14 million was awarded today to 45 school-based health centers across the country allowing the number of children served to increase by nearly 50 percent, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced.

Clinics receiving the awards, made possible by the health reform law, are already providing much-needed health care services to 112,000 children.  Today’s infusion of new money will enable them to expand their capacity and modernize their facilities, which will allow them to treat an estimated additional 53,000 children in 29 States.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Available at: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/12/20111208a.html

What Makes A School Good: Not The Finger Painting


You’ve made it through those first years, through myriad decisions: breast feeding or bottle? Mounted safety gate or removable? Overpriced organic or pesticide-grown strawberries? But just when you’re ready to look at your baby and say, “Job done!” you’re faced with the most challenging problem of all: How to get him or her best education you can.

It wasn’t always this way.

Source: NPR

Available at: http://www.npr.org/2011/08/28/139946179/what-makes-a-school-good-not-the-finger-painting