WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2013 – USDA today proposed the establishment of minimum national professional standards and training requirements for school nutrition professionals who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

The standards, a provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), aim to institute education and certification standards for school nutrition professionals, USDA says. These new standards will ensure that school nutrition personnel have the training and tools they need to plan, prepare and purchase healthy products to create nutritious, safe and enjoyable school meals.

According to Janey Thornton, USDA deputy under secretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, HHFKA requires schools to prepare healthier meals for 32 million children each day.

Roughly 90 percent of schools are reporting that they are meeting the new standards, a 12 percent increase from June 2013, USDA says.

Some, but not all, of school nutrition professionals currently complete annual training.

The proposal would:

  • Create minimum hiring standards for school food authority directors based on a school district’s size;
  • Establish minimum hiring standards for state directors of school nutrition and state distributing agencies; and
  • Require minimum annual training for all new and current school nutrition professionals.

For more on the proposal, click here.


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