New Video Illustrates Vision for School Meals in Vermont
August 28, 2014 (South Burlington, VT)—Many kids aren't getting the nutrients they need and some aren't getting enough to eat at all. In an animated video released today by Hunger Free Vermont, Universal School Meals is presented as the solution for improving student health and academic performance, strengthening the local economy, and making schools a more welcoming place. A Universal School Meals model would provide school meals to all students for free—eliminating the current model of income-based segregation in the cafeteria and leveling the playing field for all kids to receive the nutrition they need to focus and perform better in school. In this model, schools can build the meal program into the overall school curriculum, teaching kids about new foods and building healthy eating habits. Healthier children will help prevent health care costs both now and in the future when they become healthier adults—adults that had a better chance to learn in school because they were well-fed, resulting in a better educated and better trained workforce for Vermont’s business and economic development.
This school year, many Vermont schools have the option to implement a Universal School Meals model using a new provision called Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Twenty-three schools have already signed up to implement CEP, reaching 6,500 students across the state. “This is good news for Vermont's students that live in our communities with the highest need," remarks Anore Horton, Child Nutrition Advocacy Manager at Hunger Free Vermont, " Many schools are already paying for a broken system and using CEP can help leverage money to make it possible to offer Universal School Meals. The overwhelming response from schools wanting to use this universal model proves that our food service directors, school administrators, teachers, and parents understand what a difference this can make for their students and communities."
To watch the video on Hunger Free Vermont’s vision for Universal School Meals in Vermont, visit the School Meals Hub at hungerfreevt.org/school-meals-hub.
Anore Horton, Child Nutrition Advocacy Manager, Hunger Free Vermont
About Hunger Free Vermont: Hunger Free Vermont is a statewide nonprofit organization that works with state agencies and community groups to develop sustainable hunger solutions. Since 1993 Hunger Free Vermont’s outreach programs have substantially enhanced Vermont’s nutrition safety net and increased access to nutritious foods. www.hungerfreevt.org.