The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) brought many significant changes to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, and CACFP meal requirements. Changes such as greater amounts of fruits and vegetables, all whole grains, lower levels of calories, and a host of others. Initial implementation of the menu standards was due by July 1, 2012, with new guidelines being introduced gradually over time. The goal is to increase the overall healthfulness of school meals since they are such a large and important source of nutrition for many kids.
In addition to the new nutritional meal guidelines, the Act also encourages the use of more local and farm fresh produce, school gardens and healthier choices in school vending machines.
We know conforming to these guidelines can be challenging. Working with CKC Good FoodTM makes it much easier. We have many USDA-certified menus and provide all the menu components you need to serve compliant meals. And our training resources and regular onsite visits by our Field Service Manager help eliminate any guesswork. In fact, Minnesota Department of Education auditors found our schools to be "model schools" as they conducted compliance audits in 2013-2014. We can work with your school's or nonprofit's leaders and parent groups to explain the guidelines and answer questions as we've done with all of our existing clients.
To further encourage schools to embrace the HHFKA guidelines and help fight childhood obesity, the USDA established the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC), a voluntary certification initiative tied to HHFKA. Schools meeting the HUSSC goals are eligible for cash incentives, national recognition and wonderful grant opportunities. Our goal is to help each interested client school achieve a Gold Award of Distinction ranking when applying for the incentive. Looking for nutrition education and physical activity ideas to implement in your school? Visit the HUSSC website to see what schools around the country are doing.
If you have questions about HHFKA or how your school can create a healthier school environment, please call us! (651-453-1136)
Resources on the HHFKA guidelines:
Minnesota Department of Education (MDE): Food and Nutrition Program Administration
MN Department of Education: PowerPoint training on Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (3 MB file)
USDA: National School Lunch Program
USDA: Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act
USDA: Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act implementation timelines
HealthierUS School Challenge: Incentive awards