Over the last year, Three O'clock Project has been engaged with the East Baton Rouge Public School Child Nutrition Program. We have been working hard to revise and create two policies to directly impact student wellness as well as disrupt the school food procurement process for GOOD. We are so excited about the work ahead and the efforts put forth by both entities as well as other community supporters like the OneRouge Coalition, American Heart Association, and Voices for Healthy Kids. Included below is the press release being shared by EBRPSS after the September approval of both policies at the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board meeting. We look forward to sharing more about the work ahead!
Press Release Copy:
The East Baton Rouge Parish School System is proud to announce a significant step in prioritizing student health and sustainable food procurement.
On Sept. 28, the School Board approved two crucial policies — the Wellness Policy and the Good Food Purchasing Policy — aiming to enhance the nutritional quality of meals and foster a culture of well-being within the district. With the Child Nutrition Program serving over 50,000 free and reduced meals daily for breakfast, lunch and supper, the importance of procuring quality food at the best value cannot be overstated. The newly approved policies align seamlessly with the CNP's objectives, reinforcing the commitment to provide top-notch meals to all customers within EBR Schools.
EBRPSS Wellness Policy
The EBRPSS Wellness Policy focuses on creating a conducive school environment that promotes students' health, well-being and learning abilities. By encouraging healthy eating, physical activity and fostering lifelong healthy behaviors, this policy sets the stage for a brighter, healthier future for students. Additionally, the formation of a Wellness Council comprising district leaders, staff and community stakeholders is a significant component to support and guide the district in implementing a culture of wellness.
Good Food Purchasing Policy
The Good Food Purchasing Policy, a national initiative supported by the Center for Good Food Purchasing, aims to build a transparent and equitable food system prioritizing the health and well-being of people, animals and the environment. By embracing this policy, EBRPSS positions itself as a beacon in the Gulf South, driving economic growth for local producers and vendors while ensuring the procurement of nutritious, healthy food for students.
Impact on Students
The adoption of these policies will usher in both significant and incremental changes, aiming to equip students with quality nutrition education that helps them develop lifelong healthy eating habits. Schools will actively engage in promoting nutrition and physical activity, resulting in an increase in student consumption of the recommended USDA fruit and vegetable subgroups; more scratch cooking; and a broader network of producers and suppliers, ultimately enhancing the overall procurement and culture of school food. Nichola Hall, the chief Human Resources officer, is excited about the program. "Through collaboration with community partners, Superintendent Sito Narcisse and the School Board, the Child Nutrition Programs have expanded our students’ access to the best nutritional options," Hall said.
The EBRPSS Child Nutrition Program will further nurture existing relationships and forge new partnerships with community organizations to support this effort across the district. The passing of these policies was a collaborative effort between EBRPSS Child Nutrition staff, district leadership, the Three O’Clock Project, the American Heart Association, Voices for Healthy Kids and OneRouge.