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MDE Joins Federal, Local Partners at School Cafeteria for Taste of Healthy Food

Lincoln Park Middle School event highlights nutrition standards

LANSING – Michigan Department of Education (MDE) officials joined members of President Biden’s Administration Friday at Lincoln Park Middle School to observe students sampling school meals that are even more nutritious.

Dr. Diane Golzynski, MDE deputy superintendent of Business, Health, and Library Services, participated in a roundtable discussion at the Wayne County school about healthy school meals – a priority for the department and the Biden Administration. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, also visited the school.

“The food that Lincoln Park students enjoyed today illustrates a commitment at the federal and state levels to providing children with the nutrition they need to be successful learners throughout the day,” Dr. Golzynski said. “We want students to have access to food that’s healthy and delicious.”

MDE has prioritized healthy school meals with assistance from the federal government, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and the State Legislature.

“Students participating in school meals and eating well contribute to Goal 3 of Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan, which is to improve the health, safety, and wellness of all learners,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “In Michigan, we have expanded access to school meals. Now federal nutrition standards are being further improved for the benefit of our children.”

Friday’s event came after the USDA recently announced a final rule updating nutrition standards for school meals. The rule is a significant step toward advancing the Biden Administration’s national strategy to end hunger and reduce diet-related disease by 2030. Nutrition standards for school meals will be gradually updated to include less sugar and more flexibility with menu planning between fall 2025 and fall 2027.

Secretary Vilsack and Sen. Stabenow both praised Michigan for its strong work to provide children access to healthy school meals.

In Michigan, the legislature approved and Gov. Whitmer signed into law the Michigan School Meals Program for fiscal year 2024. It provides one breakfast and one lunch to each public school student at no cost. This new state program is estimated to save families at least $850 annually.

To learn more about school meals, visit the Michigan School Meals website and the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website.

Second Gentleman
Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff samples food with students.

Panel of speaker
Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Dr. Diane Golzynski, MDE deputy superintendent of Business, Health, and Library Services, listen as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack praises Michigan's efforts providing schools meals at today's roundtable.