Posted by Cindy Lengthy, Administrator, Meals and Vitamin Service in

Meals and Vitamin
Vitamin Safety

Jan 19, 2023

Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long and kids overlook a garden in McCaw STEAM Academy located in Las Vegas, Nevada

Previous to changing into the Meals and Vitamin Service Administrator on the U.S. Division of Agriculture, I spent a few years with USDA working within the youngster vitamin area. I shortly grew to become enthusiastic about my work, recognizing that college meals are crucial to kids’s success in class and their total well being and well-being. It motivated me then and much more now in my function as Administrator. On this function, I’m dedicated to doing every thing doable to make sure kids get nutritious meals on a constant foundation, to allow them to do higher in class and assist the event of wholesome consuming habits which units them up for achievement!

Throughout the pandemic, we shortly realized how important it was to maintain offering faculty meals, whilst faculties had been closed. This required herculean efforts and shut coordination amongst faculties, metropolis, state, federal companions, volunteers, and anti-hunger organizations. Congress acted to permit all kids throughout the nation to briefly obtain faculty meals for gratis with out functions and different complicated administrative processes. This 12 months, as faculties transition again to pre-pandemic meal operations, some states have continued this mannequin of offering wholesome meals for all kids.

Maine, Massachusetts, California, Vermont, Nevada, and not too long ago Colorado have discovered inventive and progressive methods to mix state funds with federal funds to supply free faculty meals for all kids and take that burden off mother and father. A Nationwide Technique was launched as a part of the White Home Convention on Starvation, Vitamin, and Well being which included a pathway to wholesome faculty meals for all kids within the nation. This can be a prime precedence for USDA.

Western Regional Office Regional Administrator Jesus Mendoza, Jr., and Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long tour Three Square Food Bank

Just lately, I used to be in Nevada and met with a bunch of individuals enthusiastic about feeding each individual in want in Nevada, particularly kids. I used to be there to be taught extra about their journey towards wholesome faculty meals for all meals in faculties, and to supply USDA assist to maintain the momentum going. We met at Three Sq. Meals Financial institution in Las Vegas. They graciously hosted a roundtable dialogue, which allowed me to listen to faculty districts’ and neighborhood organizations’ issues and the way USDA can assist their efforts. Since that journey, the Nevada State legislature has authorised a further $28 million to proceed common faculty meals for college 12 months 2023-2024!

As I journey to different states within the coming months, I’ll share how Nevada made wholesome faculty meals for all a actuality with hopes that others can observe that very same path. All of us share the accountability to make sure that kids get wholesome meals, to allow them to develop good consuming habits at an early age and succeed later in life!

Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long at Three Square Food Bank for a roundtable discussion about school meals

Meals and Vitamin
Vitamin Safety