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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 7, 1995




On June 4, 1946, President Truman signed the National School Lunch Act -- landmark legislation designed to ensure the nutritional health of America's students. This year, nearly half a century later, the Department of Agriculture has updated Federal regulations to require school meals to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The resulting School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children is the most significant reform of the meals program since President Truman's time, underscoring our Nation's profound responsibility to protect our children's well-being.

Recognizing that simply adopting policies does not always guarantee change, my Administration launched Team Nutrition on June 12, 1995, to unite public and private organizations in promoting healthful dietary habits through schools, community organizations, and the media. This groundbreaking measure also provides the training, technical assistance, and nutrition education that are critical to the School Meals Initiative's successful implementation. This fall marks the introduction of the Team Nutrition Schools Program, which brings together teachers and principals, children and families, community leaders, and school food services professionals to work for healthier school meals and to make available better nutrition information.

The National School Lunch program currently operates in more than 95 percent of our Nation's public schools and serves some 25 million students daily. The only nutritious meal of the day for many children, a school lunch can help to lengthen attention span, increase learning capacity, and dramatically improve overall health. Thanks to dedicated educators, parents, Federal, State, and local officials, and particularly food service professionals, more than 92,000 schools and residential child care institutions across the country provide wholesome meals to our Nation's children, enabling them to look forward to a healthier future.

In recognition of the contributions of the National School Lunch program to the nutritional well-being of our young people, the Congress, by joint resolution of October 9, 1962 (Public Law 87-780), has designated the week beginning the second Sunday in October of each year as "National School Lunch Week" and has requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that week.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 8 through October 14, 1995, as National School Lunch Week. I call upon all Americans to recognize those individuals whose efforts contribute to the success of our national meals programs, and I encourage people everywhere to reaffirm their commitment to safeguarding children's health.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.


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