WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Stacy Dean and USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Administrator Cindy Long recently hosted a virtual listening session with 19 school food industry executives to discuss their critical role in strengthening access to nutritious foods for school meals programs, now and into the future.
“USDA’s school meal programs have a wide-reaching impact on the health and well-being of our nation’s children,” said Vilsack. “Now, more than ever, America’s children need access to the healthy and nutritious foods, and our industry partners play a huge role in making that happen.”
USDA’s meeting with these key partners came as the department, schools and other partners across the country celebrate National School Lunch Week (NSLW) between October 11-15. This week – and every week – is an opportunity to celebrate the high-quality, delicious, and nutritious lunches children receive through schools.
USDA states that the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis has highlighted the essential role that school meals play in addressing childhood hunger, as well as the tireless dedication and creativity of school food professionals in making sure children are well-fed, no matter the situation.