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Local School Wellness Policy: Guidance and Q&As

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EO Guidance Document #
FNS Document #
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Policy Memos
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PDF Icon Policy Memo (135.24 KB)
DATE: April 6, 2017
MEMO CODE: SP 24-2017
SUBJECT: Local School Wellness Policy: Guidance and Q&As
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

Local educational agencies (LEA) participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program are required to develop a local school wellness policy that promotes the health of students and addresses the problem of childhood obesity. Wellness policies are tailored to the unique needs of each LEA and present an opportunity to improve the health of each community.

On July 29, 2016, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) finalized regulations to create a framework and guidelines for written wellness policies established by LEAs. The final rule requires LEAs to begin developing a revised local school wellness policy during school year 2016-2017. The revised policy must be in place by June 30, 2017.

The final regulation offers LEAs flexibility in determining how best to implement policies that reflect their unique circumstances. This memorandum provides Questions and Answers (Q&As) to address the local school wellness policy final rule.

The local school wellness policy resource center provides extensive resources school officials at the local, state, and federal level may use to better understand the local school wellness policy requirements and their positive benefits.

State agencies are reminded to distribute this information to program operators immediately. Program operators should direct any questions regarding this memorandum to the appropriate state agency. State agency contact information is available at State agencies should direct questions to the appropriate FNS regional office.

Angela M. Kline
Policy and Program Development Division
Child Nutrition Programs

Page updated: March 09, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.