USDA Working to Strengthen School Meals

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, Stacy Dean, and USDA Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long hosted a listening session on school meals. The session took place with 19 school food industry executives to discuss their critical role in strengthening access to nutritious foods for school meals programs, both now and into the future. “USDA’s school meal programs have a wide-reaching impact on the health and well-being of our nation’s children,” Vilsack says. “Now, more than ever, America’s children need access to healthy and nutritious foods, and our industry partners play a huge role in making that happen.” The meeting took place as the department, schools, and other partners across the country celebrated National School Lunch Week from October 11-15. The week is set aside as an opportunity to celebrate the high-quality, delicious, and nutritious lunches children get at their schools. COVID-19 and the resulting economic challenges have highlighted the essential role that school meals play in addressing childhood hunger, as well as the tireless dedication and creativity of school food professionals in making sure that children are well-fed, no matter the situation.