D.C. Healthy Schools Act, Title 38, Chapter 8A

Jurisdiction Name: Washington
State/Province: DC
Country: United States
Type of Government: Municipality
Population: 601,723
Population Range: 250,000 to 999,999
Policy Links: WebPDF
Policy type: act
Year: 2010
GFC Topic: community food connections, community food security
Keywords: access, farm to institution, food purchasing, food purchasing policy, health promoting, healthy, healthy food, local food, local food procurement, local food purchasing, local food system, public funds, school, underserved
Adopting Government Department(s):

District of Columbia Council

Lead Implementing Entity(s): Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Support Entity(s):

DC Public schools Office of Food and Nutrition Services, Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization, District Department of the Environment, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Health, DC Hunger Solutions, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, University of the District of Columbia, Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS)

Funding Amount: n/a
Funding Sources: Kaiser Permanente, Thrive, Walmart, USDA, Stop & Shop Giant Family Foundation, Action for Healthy Kids,
Policy Outcome(s):

The act creates a number of programmatic and policy solutions to combat health issues stemming from hunger, poor nutrition, poor environment, and inadequate physical activities. All of these changes are made at the school level, and the act requires both public and charter schools in DC to participate.
All schools now offer free breakfast to all students and free lunch to students who previously qualified for reduced-price lunch. In addition, alternative serving models such as breakfast in the classroom and carts are made available to schools. School Nutrition is a priority and funding is made available to schools to meet the federal school nutrition requirements. In addition, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and milk are prioritized daily in the school lunch programs.
Farm to School programming is a key element of the Healthy Schools Act. Locally-grown, unprocessed food purchases are prioritized and incentivized in the act. Locally grown food is defined as from Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. In addition, sustainable growing practices are encouraged by farms that the food is sourced from and participation in Farm to School education programs annually are required. Health Education is expanded at the elementary and middle school levels to 75 minutes per week and students must have adequate personal health knowledge by the end of the year. Schools are encouraged to “go green”: expand environmental education and develop school gardens where students can grow, sell and consume food grown by them. In addition, compost piles, technical assistance and documentation of the program are required as a part of education. Competitive Foods such as those from vending machines or snack bars have specific nutrition requirements that raise the requirements on fat, sugar, and sodium in those products. Lastly, Health and Wellness is comprehensive goal for schools to encourage healthy eating through the programs previously mentioned, and requires the presence of a school health center with staff and adherence to federal and district guidelines. In addition, a tobacco-free school campus is required.

Additional Resources and Information: Link 1