Announcement | April 15, 2020

Mission: Readiness Responds to Federal Court Decision on School Meals

The recent decision reverses rollbacks to school nutrition standards

Earlier this week, a federal district court struck down a 2018 U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that rolled back school meal standards for sodium and whole-grain content. These standards were initiated as part of a number of important nutritional improvements made to school meals programs under the bipartisan Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

Mission: Readiness, an organization of 750 retired admirals and generals concerned about America’s obesity epidemic and military recruiting crisis, released the following statement:

“Amidst the news reports about this week’s federal court ruling reversing a rollback on school meal nutrition standards, a core piece of the discussion was lost: why America has high-quality nutrition standards for the food that our nation’s children are served in schools. Child nutrition is an essential component of America’s national security strength.

Military leaders have long understood that the health of our children is directly correlated with the strength of our Nation. That’s why, after 40 percent of recruits were turned away from serving in World War II due to malnutrition, military leaders urged creation of the school lunch program. And it’s why Mission: Readiness members responded to reports showing obesity as a leading reason that 71 percent of young adults cannot serve in the military by canvassing Capitol Hill in support of strengthening and modernizing school meal programs in 2010.

Children receive up to half of their calories during the school day. For some children, school meals may be the only healthy food they receive; continued service amidst the ongoing pandemic has underscored the vital role that school meals play in ensuring that young people have access to fresh, healthy, and nutritious foods.

Mission: Readiness has consistently supported efforts to protect and preserve the integrity of the common-sense, science-based nutrition standards established in accordance with the 2010 law. Decision makers must build upon, not rollback or retreat school meals nutrition standards to ensure that our young people are growing up healthy and ready for success in life.”

Mission: Readiness is comprised of retired admirals and generals dedicated to strengthening national security by ensuring kids stay in school, stay fit, and stay out of trouble


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