Local School Wellness Policy
What is a local school wellness policy? A local school wellness policy (“wellness policy” or LWP) is a written document that guides a local educational agency (LEA) or school district’s efforts to establish a school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn. They are an important and low-cost approach for school districts to ensure robust implementation of the updated nutrition standards for school meals, snacks, and beverages as well as address other school foods and physical activity.
Since children spend many of their waking hours and eat up to half their daily calories at school, schools play a critical role in building healthy nutrition and physical activity habits that can last a lifetime. Additionally, healthy, active children also perform better academically and have less behavioral problems. The LWP is designed to implement the updated nutrition standards for school meals, snacks, and beverages, and address nutrition education, marketing of unhealthy food and beverages, physical activity, physical education, and recess.
The LWP was established by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 and was further strengthened by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). It requires each school district participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program to develop and implement a wellness policy.
Schools are working hard to offer healthier meals and snacks. However when it comes to LWPs, most school districts will need to realign their existing policies with the updated requirements. In addition, many school districts’ will need to strengthen implementation of their LWP to ensure that it is in effect in each school within the district.
This website provides resources to assist school districts and stakeholders in updating and implementing their local school wellness policy.
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