Section 204 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-296) added Section 9A to the Richard B. Russell national School Lunch Act (42 USC 1758b), Local School Wellness Policy Implementation. The provision set forth in Section 204 expand upon the previous local wellness policy requirement from the Child Nutrition and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-265).
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 expands the scope of local school wellness policies; brings in additional stakeholders in its development, implementation and review; and requires public updates on the content and implementation of the wellness policies. The intent is to strengthen local school wellness policies so they become useful tools in evaluating, establishing, and maintaining healthy school environments, and to make clear to the public (including parents, students, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of local school wellness policies.
The Act requires each local educational agency participating in the National School Lunch Program or other federal Child Nutrition programs to establish a local school wellness policy for all schools under its jurisdiction. Each local education agency must designate one or more local education agency officials or school officials to ensure that each school complies with the local wellness policy. At a minimum, a local school wellness policy must:
- Include goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness.
- Include nutrition guidelines to promote student health and reduce childhood obesity for all foods available in each school district.
- Permit parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators, and the general public to participate in the development, implementation, and review and update of the local wellness policy.
- Inform and update the public (including parents, students, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of local wellness policies.
- Be measured periodically on the extent to which schools are in compliance with the local wellness policy, the extent to which the local education agency’s local wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies, and the progress made in attaining the goals of the local wellness policy, and make this assessment available to the public.
For School Year 2015-2016, local educational agencies are encouraged to continue reviewing and assessing their local wellness policies and implementing the new requirements. The Model Local School Wellness Policy Template is a good starting point.
- Model Wellness Policies - Refer to these sample policies when drafting or updating wellness policy.
- Local School Wellness Policy Requirement Overview (7/10/13)
- Comparison Chart: 2004 vs. 2010 Policy Requirements
- Implementation Guidance Memo (7/8/11) Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Local School Wellness Policies - This memorandum provides information on the new requirements for local school wellness policies and recommended actions beginning School Year 2011-2012.