National WIC Association

Press Release: National WIC Association Disturbed by Latest USDA Attempt to Roll Back School Meals Nutrition Standards

January 17, 2020

Rev. Greenaway: “The proposed rule is the latest step by USDA to cater to industry, instead of safeguarding the nutritional needs of our children.”


Press Contact: Natalie Moran


WASHINGTON – On January 17, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced two proposed rules, one of which will further alter the nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program.


Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA), issued the following statement in response:


“The school meals programs build on the foundation of WIC services – including access to healthy foods and nutrition education. WIC services promote healthy child development and ensure young children are kindergarten ready. This latest proposed rule includes a junk-food loophole and weakens children’s access to fruits and vegetables. The federal government should not be making it easier for children to have pizza and french fries every day for lunch – this is in stark contrast to the recommended nutrition science, which promotes the importance of fruits and vegetables to support a child’s healthy growth and development into adulthood.


“The National WIC Association continues to be disturbed by USDA’s persistent efforts to weaken the nutritional standards of school meals, leaving children with fewer healthy options. The proposed rule is the latest step by USDA to cater to industry, instead of safeguarding the nutritional needs of our children.


“In November 2019, the Centers on Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unveiled new data demonstrating that efforts to improve the nutritional quality of WIC foods were associated with reductions in childhood obesity prevalence. The National WIC Association led the broader nutrition community in fighting for strong nutrition standards in WIC, which were developed in consultation with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and reflected the recommendations encompassed in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.


“The healthy foods offered through WIC result in healthier children. The school meals programs have an opportunity to build on WIC’s success, fostering a healthier population and reducing overall healthcare expenditures. With this proposed rule, USDA is poised to squander that opportunity.”


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