Snack Facts: Raising the Bar on Nutrition Standards in Schools

While some schools have already implemented higher nutrition standards for food and beverages sold in vending machines and a la carte food lines, the US Department of Agriculture has not updated their rules since 1979.  New rulings will go into effect in September 2014, so some schools may see nutrition improvements in the future.

The USDA’s new standards are required by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act passed in 2010, and limit vending machine snacks or “competitive snacks” to 200 calories per item, and sodas and sports drinks sold in high schools to 60 calories or less in a 12-ounce serving.  Elementary and middle schools can sell water, 100% fruit or vegetable juice and low-fat or fat-free milk.

For more information about snacks sold in schools, please see Snack Facts: Raising the Bar on Nutrition Standards in Schools.

Summer Food Programs

When schools close for summer vacation many children loose access to breakfast and lunch meals.  To support low-income families and ensure students return to school ready to learn in the fall, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are promoting increased awareness to federal summer meal programs.  More information regarding the summer programs and how you can get involved can be found at

WATCH D.O.G.S. In Action


WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) – Engage men, inspire children, reduce bullying and enhance the educational environment at your school.

WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) – is the father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering that organizes fathers and father figures in order to provide positive male role models for the students and to enhance school security. Today, more than 2200 active programs in 40 states and New Zealand participate in the WATCH D.O.G.S. Program!

Learn more at

We are making a difference. Let us make a difference for YOUR school. Join the WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) program!

Missouri Safe and Sober Program

SAFE AND SOBER is a non-profit organization, under the Mercy Health Foundation-Springfield, which creates awareness about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and encourages teens to lead a safe and sober lifestyle. After watching a video presentation of the tragic effects drinking can have on their friends, families, and their future, students take a pledge -a written commitment- to stay drug and alcohol free until they are 21 years old.

Safe and Sober is a three part program:

1) The high school program is two-fold. Teens participate in a video based presentation that shows the consequences of underage drinking and how it can change their future forever. Students are then asked to take sign a pledge card to remain safe and sober until they are 21 years old. Students must take the card home and have a parent or guardian sign it, making them aware of the pledge their student is taking. Many high schools combine the program with other activities, including assemblies and docudramas of accident scenes involving drunk drivers to encourage pledge taking and responsible choices.

2) The parent program provides education to parents about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking, including alcohol’s affect on the developing brain. Parents are provided information that helps them set limits and expectations for their teen about underage drinking.

3) The middle school program further engages the high school students who have taken the pledge. High school students will share the reasons they took the pledge and the share the culture of high school that does not include alcohol.

Register your school online at Missouri Safe and Sober – click here