State to get federal funds for school nutrition programs

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Washington state is one of 18 states and one territory to get federal dollars for nutrition programs in public schools.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan on Friday announced new grants to support schools as they strive to improve school nutrition and exercise levels for students.

“When we serve our children healthy school meals, we’re making a critical investment in their academic performance, their physical health, and their future,” Merrigan said in a press release.

Funded in support of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the Team Nutrition training grants will assist schools in meeting the new school meal requirements, encourage participation in a “healthy schools” challenge and create school cafeteria environments that promote healthy menu choices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding approximately $5.2 million over two years, with Washington state receiving more than $260,000 to both competitive and noncompetitive applicants.

Requirements of the grant include administrations providing training and technical assistance to food service professionals, making available fun and interactive nutrition education for children, teachers, parents, and other caregivers and building school and community support for creating healthy school environments conducive to healthy eating and physical activity.

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