The Benefits of School Nutrition Programs

The Benefits of School Nutrition Programs 1280 720 Carter Anderberg

School lunches are a critical part of everyday life that many take for granted, not realizing that for some, meals are not guaranteed. Lunches are essential for every student’s health and well-being, especially those from low-income families who struggle to make ends meet. This is why school nutrition programs have become such an integral part of our educational system—and what we do as a purveyor of packaging.

The National School Lunch Program helps children across the country receive a healthy, nutritious lunch every school day. Almost 95 percent of schools in the United States participate in the program—this means that over 30 million children are fed on a regular school day. The National School Lunch Program is the second largest food and nutrition assistance program in the nation. The first largest is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as EBT, which is designed to provide for those who can’t afford meals while stimulating the economy.

School nutrition programs help students receive the nutrition they need to learn and function at a high level during their school day and beyond. Studies show that these programs provide a range of positive benefits, from decreasing food security to lowering obesity rates and improving health.

Read on to learn about some of the incredible benefits of school nutrition programs.

Reduced Food Insecurity

Nationwide studies show that receiving meals via school nutrition programs reduced food insecurity by 3.8 percent or more. Meanwhile, paying for school lunches can lead to higher food insecurity across entire low-income households. Other data shows that food insecurity is higher in the summer, when children are not in school, and therefore, not receiving free lunches. Reduced food insecurity has a significant positive effect on children’s mental health and can have a marked impact on their future.

Improved Consumption

The new school meal nutrition standards set by the National School Lunch Program promotes healthier eating by offering nutrient-rich meals that include fruits, vegetables and other beneficial foods. School meals are required to contain at least one third of the recommended daily dietary allowance of necessary nutrients, including whole grains and produce.

Other requirements include that a maximum of 30 percent of the calories in each meal are obtained from fat, with less than 10 percent from saturated fat. These nutrition standards are key to helping students learn how to eat better and are often healthier than packed meals brought from home. Studies conducted after the National School Lunch Program’s standards were raised during the 2012-2013 school year showed that a large segment of lunches packed at home for pre-school and kindergarten students contained higher amounts of sugar, calories, fat and saturated fat than meals provided by school lunch programs. Conversely, they were less rich in healthy, fundamental nutrients such as fiber, protein, calcium and vitamin A.

beefits of school nutrition programs

Better Overall Health & Decreased Obesity Rates

School nutrition programs have a wide-ranging impact on children’s overall health. National studies have shown that receiving meals via school nutrition programs lowered obesity rates by 17 percent or more and reduced poor health by 29 percent or more. Often times, the quality of meals and nutrients is better and more well-rounded than packed lunches, which boosts physical health. Research shows that when students eat school lunches, they consume more healthy nutrients such as vegetables, fruit and milk, and eat less desserts and sugary snacks. School meals also play an essential role in students’ readiness to learn and mental health. The security of knowing their meals are provided for helps students focus on school and enjoying their day, resulting in improved moods, and ultimately, better mental health.

At The Platinum Packaging Group, we are thrilled to be a part of the school nutrition programs that have such a positive impact on our nation’s children in need.  Our products help in the preparation of meals for these children.

increased funding for school nutrition programs

Increased Funding for School Nutrition Programs

Increased Funding for School Nutrition Programs 1200 1072 Carter Anderberg

Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 181 Committee on Budget into law on June 30, 2022. This new California State Legislature appropriated $600 million for kitchen infrastructure and equipment! The new funding will provide much-needed benefits to California Department of Education (CDE), which will boost the current school nutrition programs that so many children and families depend upon. This is a huge win for schools serving families who depend on them for meals.

The 2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training (KIT) Funding allocations provide eligible Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) with additional state funds. LEAs are defined as charter schools, school districts, and county offices of education. The new funding will directly benefit LEAs that sponsor school nutrition programs such as the School Breakfast Program (SBP) or National School Lunch Program (NSLP). These monies will be used to purchase new equipment and make upgrades to kitchen infrastructures while providing increased food service training to staff.

The kitchen upgrades will significantly boost the overall capacity of school nutrition programs. They will be able to increase the number of fresh meals prepared on-site, using healthier, sustainable food that is locally grown and minimally processed. Increased training will enable staff to expand their menus and promote nutritious meals.

The Platinum Packaging Program Offers Packaging Solutions for School Nutrition Programs

With this additional funding available, The Platinum Packaging Group can offer packaging solutions for centralized and on-site school nutritional locations.

The Platinum Packaging Group is a California-based company. We have been offering unique solutions for over 20 years, with over 52 years of collective experience in this specific market. We have provided over 300 + machines in school nutritional locations throughout CA. We operate with a true commitment to sustainability and our goal to assist LEAs with providing healthy, nutritious meals for these essential school nutrition programs.