ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 26, 2016)—National PTA is pleased to award over $60,000 in grants to schools and PTAs across the country to help improve the quality of, access to and participation in school meals. The grants are part of the association’s ongoing efforts to ensure all children have a safe and healthy environment in which to thrive and learn.
“Healthy students make better learners, and school meals are an opportunity for children to receive more than half of their daily nutrient needs. Ensuring children have access to nutritious foods in schools is critical to their success,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “We are pleased to equip PTAs and schools nationwide with the necessary resources to support and advocate for stronger school meal programs.”
Twenty-five local PTAs have been selected to receive grants of $2,000 each to partner with their school leaders, food service team and families to help schools build on the progress they have made in serving students healthier meals. The following state PTAs also have been chosen to receive grants of $5,000 each.
- Minnesota PTA will collaborate with state leaders to develop a communications campaign to educate families about the importance of healthy school meals.
- Nevada PTA will use the grant to increase the number of schools in the state that provide free breakfast and lunch to all students.
- South Carolina PTA will partner with state leaders to design a statewide campaign to increase awareness among students and families of school meals.
“PTA leaders, members and families play an important role in helping schools implement improved meal and snack offerings,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “At the national, state and local levels, PTA is committed to ensuring families are engaged and families and schools collaborate to strengthen programs that make a difference for the health, well-being and long-term success of our nation’s children.”
The Healthy School Meals grants are funded in part by the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a collaboration between The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“PTAs helped launch the National School Lunch Program 70 years ago, and their support remains key to success in student nutrition,” said Jessica Donze Black, director of the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project. “The partnerships these grantees are forming with food service leaders—and the results they’ll achieve together—will inspire and inform greater engagement between the schools and the families they serve in communities nationwide.”
In addition to awarding the grants, National PTA has released a School Meals Leader’s Guide to help PTAs, school leaders, food service professionals and families partner on school meal improvements efforts. National PTA will also be conducting a webinar at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 12 to guide PTAs and schools through steps to address the needs and challenges their school may be facing around school meals.
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.