The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released a rule that establishes new nutrition standards for the school meals programs. Under the new rule there would be new limits on sodium and more heart healthy whole grains in school meals. This rule will do a lot of good, but is temporary and only the first in-a 2 step process to help schools transition back to stronger nutrition standards as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA plans to issue another rule this fall creating long-term nutrition standards for school meals, and they want to hear from parents, students, and other advocates about what you think healthy school meals should contain.
We know you’re used to sending pre-filled letters in seconds, but we need you to write your own comment this time. The USDA pays the most attention to unique comments, not form letters, and while this makes it harder for advocates, it also gives us a chance to have an enormous impact. In a recent request for comments, the USDA received thousands of messages, but only 6% of those were unique comments. Those 6% of commenters had a far greater impact on what the USDA decided to do than the thousands that sent form letters. We want your voice to be counted so we need you to write your own comment. To help make this easier, you can find suggested talking points and a form to submit your comment by clicking this link, but your voice and your opinion are what matter most here.
The USDA may not take further action until later this fall, but now is the time to submit your comment before the March deadline passes. This is our chance to put our kids first and ensure they are receiving the best, healthiest food possible at school. So please don’t delay, submit a comment to the USDA today!