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Giving Thanks to School Leaders for Efforts to Improve School Meals

Wednesday was a monumental day for kids, families, educators, administrators, food service workers and the advocates who have led the charge and worked hand in hand to deliver healthier, more nutritious food to our nation’s school children.

For the first time in over a decade, the federal government has made significant changes to school meals that will provide kids across the country with the nourishment they will need to flourish in school and in life.

We know that we would not be here without the leadership and dedication of school nutrition professionals from across the nation.

School systems across the country are on the front lines of nutrition, education and health. They are as diverse as America itself. But they share an unwavering commitment to the young people they serve. Implementing the new standards represents a mission that I know school food service professionals have embraced with passion and energy.

We know that healthy and nutritious school meals are just one important piece of the puzzle. It’s going to take all of us – parents, community leaders, business owners – to make sure our kids grow up healthy and strong.

Today First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary Vilsack, and I want emphasize our gratitude for the educators, food service workers and advocates. Without their tireless efforts to improve school meals for all of our children this would not have been possible.

Caption: Celebrity chef Rachael Ray and school food service employees served one of her recipes of ground turkey tacos, Mexican brown rice and black bean and corn salad accompanied by mixed fruit at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. Rachel Ray, First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the school to speak with faculty and parents about the United States Department of Agriculture’s new and improved nutrition standards for school lunches. USDA Photo by Bob Nichols.