Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act

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Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act

On July 20, 2022, Democrats on the House Education and Labor Committee released the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act—their proposal for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. The last reauthorization expired in 2010.

Here are the key points for district leaders:

  • Changes the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) by reducing the eligibility threshold of Identified Student Percentage (ISP) from 40% to 25% and increasing the multiplier from 1.6 to 2.5. These proposed changes would allow more districts to participate by changing eligibility and ensuring the program is more financially feasible.
  • Expands Direct Certification to include Medicaid in all states.
  • Addresses food insecurity over the summer period by changing Area Eligibility for Summer Food Service Program from 50% to 40% students from low-income areas to make the program more accessible. The bill also creates a nationwide Summer EBT program to provide students eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch with cash assistance during the summer months.
  • Establishes competitive grant programs to promote scratch cooking, provide plant-based meals, and upgrade equipment.
  • Increases lunch reimbursement by 10 cents and provides an additional 6 cent commodity assistance for breakfast.
  • Requires that summer nutrition standards be updated to align with the Dietary Guidelines. Additionally, codifies the timeline for when nutritional standards must be updated to align with new Dietary Guidelines.
  • Requires USDA conduct a study on best practices regarding adequate meal time and issue guidance for schools participating in the program.
  • Provides guidelines for how districts can deal with unpaid lunch debt. 

AASA and ASBO International sent a letter to House Education and Labor Committee leadership to share our thoughts on the proposal ahead of the mark up scheduled for July 27. Read the full letter here