To help combat childhood obesity and improve children’s health, Congress passed the Child Nutrition and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act of 2004. On June 30, 2004, the President signed the legislation into law. Section 204 of the Public Law 108-265 requires every Local Educational Agency (LEA) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) or Special Milk Program develop a local wellness policy by the start of the 2006-2007 school year.
With the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Public Law 111-296, Section204) new provisions for Local Wellness Policies (LWPs) place greater emphasis on implementation, evaluation and publicly reporting on progress of LWPs.
The U.S. Congress recognizes that schools play a critical role in creating a healthy environment for the prevention of childhood obesity and for combating problems associated with poor nutrition and physical inactivity. The law places the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level, so the individual needs of each LEA can be addressed.
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