USDA to fund $30.5 million worth of training, equipment for healthier school meals
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WASHINGTON, March 6, 2015 - The USDA announced today it will grant over $30 million to states so schools can serve healthier meals and snacks to their students.
"We're working to do everything we can to support schools as they work to provide kids the nutrition they need to learn and develop into healthy adults," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release. "With doctors, parents, teachers and schools all working together, we can make sure we're giving our kids the healthy start in life they deserve.”"
Up to $5.5 million of the designated funding will support Team Nutrition training programs for school food service workers.
Team Nutrition grants run for two-years - September 2015 through September 2017 - and are awarded annually to state agencies administering the National School Lunch (NSLP) and School Breakfast (SBP) Programs, the Summer Food Service Program, or the Child and Adult Care Food Programs. Applicants may request up to $350,000 and must submit their application by May 19.
The remaining $25 million was granted to state agencies who will allocate the funding to schools who need new kitchen equipment to prepare and serve more nutritious meals.
USDA has provided $185 million in kitchen equipment funding to states and schools participating in NSLP and SBP since 2009, the agency noted.
Both the equipment and training competitive grants are designed to be used in implementation of federal programs, such as the Smarter Lunchrooms strategy, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the HealthierUS School Challenge, USDA Food and Nutrition Service's child nutrition initiatives, USDA said.
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