ScratchWorks Celebrates the House Education and Labor Committee’s Investment in Scratch-Cooked School Meals
ScratchWorks joins advocates for healthier school meals in commending the House Education and Labor Committee on their Build Back Better Act for budget reconciliation, which makes needed investments in our schools’ kitchens, cafeterias, and nutrition education programs. We know from our members’ firsthand experiences that healthy, delicious school meals cooked from scratch using whole, fresh ingredients are essential for supporting our children’s health and learning, ensuring the sustainability of our food systems, and achieving nutrition equity in our country.
The Build Back Better Act recognizes the importance of scratch cooking and looks to expand its application in school districts across the country through these provisions:
- $500 million for schools to purchase the kitchen equipment needed to increase their level of scratch cooking;
- $25 million for schools to receive training and technical assistance on scratch cooking; and
- $634 million for schools to run programs expanding healthy food offerings, which will support increased scratch cooking.
This funding will help districts of all sizes serve more nutritious food, purchase more local ingredients, provide better career opportunities to their staff, and instill healthier eating habits in more students. The provision for training and technical assistance will also ensure that schools have the expert support they need to select and implement new kitchen equipment so that it aligns strategically with their nutrition goals.
ScratchWorks again applauds the House Education and Labor Committee for their meaningful commitment to healthier school meals. We especially want to express our gratitude to Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes for their strong leadership during this process and for their ongoing support of child nutrition.
We urge Congress to pass this legislation quickly and hope that today’s investments in school food pave the way for a near future where every child has daily access to fresh, healthy, delicious meals at school.