School districts that participate in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs are required to develop local school wellness policies that address student nutrition and physical activity (Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004).
The 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act requires schools to:
- Permit parents to participate in the development of local school wellness policies.
- Update and inform parents about the policies’ content and implementation.
Parents often are unaware of their right to be involved with their school’s wellness committees and to have a say in the wellness policies related to nutrition and physical activity.
What Your PTA Can Do
- Learn about your local school and district’s wellness policies. An effective, comprehensive school wellness policy includes:
- Nutrition education and physical activity goals
- Nutrition guidelines for all foods available on the school campus
- Ways for parents, students, school administrators, the school board, the school food authority and the general public to get involved in developing and evaluating the wellness policy
- Other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness
- Plans for evaluating the school wellness policy
- Find out if your school or district has a school wellness committee. Is the PTA represented?
- Find out whether any parents are involved in the process of implementing and evaluating the policy.
Remember, parent participation on school wellness committees is a right and requirement under the law.