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How Aligned are District Wellness Policies with Federal Wellness Policy Requirements?
School districts that participate in any of the Federal Child Nutrition Programs have been required to have a wellness policy in place since the 2006-07 school year, when the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 provided the first guidelines. In 2010, wellness policy requirements were renewed and expanded in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. In 2016, the USDA issued a final rule entitled, Local School Wellness Policy Implementation under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The wellness policy final rule further strengthens district wellness policy requirements, and takes effect at the start of the 2017-18 school year. 

This report provides data on district wellness policies in effect at the start of the 2014-15 school year. Including insights as to district policy readiness for or alignment with the provisions of the USDA’s wellness policy final rule given the forthcoming implementation date (SY 2017-18). As well as baseline information that tracks the incorporation of Smart Snacks standards into district wellness policies during the first year of implementation (SY 2014-15).

Healthier students are better learners, and when children spend most of their waking hours at school, their health and well-being becomes a key component of their education. For over a decade, Congress and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been requiring that all school districts participating in the Federal Child Nutrition Programs adopt and implement nutrition and physical activity goals for students during the school day through the use of a local wellness policy.

Download the full report here.
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