P.O. Box 202501 • Helena, MT 59620-2501
Putting Montana Students First
All foods sold to students during the school day (midnight the day of school until 30 minutes after the final bell rings) must meet Smart Snack guidelines. Smart Snacks includes fundraisers, vending machines, school stores and a la carte items sold in addition to the school meal.
USDA Smart Snacks in School
USDA's final rule regarding school wellness requires that local educational agencies (LEA) have a revised local school wellness policy in place by June 30, 2017. The school wellness policy should promote the health of the students and establishes a healthy school environment. This includes ensuring that foods sold to students during the school day meet the Smart Snacks in Schools standards.
USDA Local School Wellness Policy
In Montana, a number of students are impacted by challenges such as homelessness, poverty, adverse childhood experiences (ACE's), as well as other challenges that can lead to stress, sometimes even toxic stress, resulting in food insecurities. The ACE study did not look directly at food insecurity; however, since the study there have been several researchers that started looking at ACE's and food insecurities. What we know now is that there are correlations between people experiencing trauma and establishing food insecurities.
What we also know is that we have the ability to help a person heal from food insecurities by implementing a trauma-informed lens in our schools and cafeterias. Here are some resources that we hope you find of value:
For questions about Smart Snacks in Schools and School Wellness, contact OPI School Nutrition Programs at 406-444-2501.
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