Resolution on Improving School Meal Programs

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Whereas, Proper nutrition is imperative to the health, development and academic achievement of children, and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires each Local Educational Agency participating in the National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast Program to have a wellness policy that promotes student well-being and ability to learn; and

Whereas, In 2018 roughly 4.9 billion lunches are served annually to 30.4 million children that participate in the National School Lunch program, with approximately 74% of participants receiving free or reduced-price lunches, and almost half of those students consuming breakfast at school; and

Whereas, Food insecurity, faced by 14 million children, is exacerbated by meal debt policies that shame and stigmatize, is linked to lower reading and math scores, falling behind peers academically and socially, and may lead to increased risk of behavioral issues, such as anxiety, hyperactivity, and aggression; and

Whereas, Guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and US Department of Agriculture indicate that scheduling recess before lunch, and providing at least 20 minutes of seated time to eat a meal, leads to increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, decreased food waste, reduced discipline referrals, and increased academic performance; therefore, be it

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent associations support legislation and advocate for
wellness policies, which include measurable goals and standards regarding child nutrition, that will ensure sufficient time for students to receive and consume a meal, and provide for recess opportunities; and be it further

That National PTA and its constituent associations oppose the practice of meal debt policies that shame or humiliate students, or prevent children from receiving a full meal equivalent to their peers; and be it further

, That National PTA and its constituent associations be engaged in ongoing policy-making
decisions to expand equitable access to school meals, including programs that increase meal availability.

Adopted: by the 2021 Convention Delegates