ScratchWorks Commends Hayes, Fitzpatrick, and Brownley’s Scratch Cooked Meals for Kids Act
On February 4th, the Scratch Cooked Meals for Kids Act was introduced in the House of Representatives. As we look at the inclusion of this bill into Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR), ScratchWorks is excited to see that scratch cooking is a priority, and are thankful to be able to work with Congresswoman Hayes (D-CT), Congressman Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Congresswoman Brownley (D-CA) to share stories of how scratch cooking in schools is supporting childhood health, planetary health, and workforce development.
As a collective of food service operators and non-profits trying to increase scratch cooking in schools, we are grateful that these legislators have come together in bipartisan sponsorship of this bill. We would also like to acknowledge the amazing organizations across the country that have signed-on in support of this legislation:
Scratch Works, Chef Ann Foundation, National Education Association, School Nutrition Association, Farm to School Coalition, National Farm to School Network, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, FoodCorps, End Hunger! CT, Nourish Colorado, LunchAssist, Whole Kids Foundation, Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO), Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, NYC Food Ed Coalition, The Edible Schoolyard Project, Cafeteria Culture, Eat REAL, National PTA, and Life Time Foundation.
The bill defines scratch cooking as “the preparation of food using ingredients that are unprocessed or minimally processed”. It will help provide school districts across the country with the necessary resources to expand scratch cooking efforts within their meal program by establishing a grant program under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The grant program would:
- Allocate $100 million over 5 years for grants to schools working towards transitioning to scratch cooking. If selected, each recipient would receive a total of $200,000 over two years.
- Prioritize grant recipients to school districts with a high percentage of students who receive free and reduced-price lunches
- Create a Technical Assistance (TA) Center at USDA that would work with nonprofits to provide assistance and guidance to grant recipients.
For more information, please see the press release from the Office of Congresswoman Hayes.
Please consider sharing this bill in your networks, and if you are interested in adding your organization as an endorsing organization, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.