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White House advocates for expansion of free school meals as part of National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health


The Biden Administration says it will take steps to provide free school meals to 9 million more students by 2032.
The White House
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The White House is advocating for the expansion of free school meals as part of its new National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

Released just ahead of the White House’s National Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, taking place later this week, the strategy focuses on five pillars: improve food access and availability, integrate nutrition and health, empower all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices, support physical activity for all, and enhance nutrition and food security research.

As part of the strategy, the Biden Administration says it wants to take a “healthy meals for all” approach, which includes providing free school meals to 9 million more students by 2032 and offering support to school nutrition programs to expand local food procurement, new equipment, training and scratch cooking in schools.

The White House also listed several calls to action as part of the strategy, including asking state and school districts to increase investment in school food programs to support kitchen infrastructure and training for school nutrition professionals. In addition, it says school districts should consider incorporating culinary arts and nutrition education, and that philanthropy should support pilots that incorporate collaboration between K-12 foodservice programs and colleges to coordinate efforts around workforce training and food procurement.

The last time the White House held a National Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health was during the Nixon Administration in 1969. That conference expanded programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and created others, including the National School Breakfast Program.

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