Local Wellness Policy Requirements
What is a Local Wellness Policy?
A Local Wellness Policy (LWP) is a written document of official policies that guide a local education agency (LEA) or school district’s efforts to establish a school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity (USDA). The formal document outlines school policies at the district level that support nutritional education and promotion, food and beverage marketing, physical activity and school-based activities that promote students’ wellness. The LWP is approved by the school board or governing board. Every school or local education agency participating in the federally-funded National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program must establish a Local Wellness Policy. 

Once the school board or governing board approves the Local Wellness Policy; the School Health Advisory Committee or equivalent representation, develops an implementation plan.  The implementation plan generates a strategy that describes how the policy requirements will be implemented into the school environment to address the identified goals and objectives. 

Current Federal Requirements 
The Child Nutrition and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act of 2004 established the local school wellness policy requirement. In 2010, wellness policies were strengthened by requirements to promote student health and prevent childhood obesity through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA). The HHFKA also provided transparency to the public on school wellness policy content and wellness plan implementation. Final guidance for wellness policies was issued by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Additional information on the final rule is available on the USDA FNS Local School Wellness Policy webpage.  

Texas Department of Agriculture Resources 
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) provides local education agencies with the Administrator’s Reference Manual (ARM) and a Local Wellness Policy (LWP) Checklist to assist during the implementation of the LWP goals and objectives. The LWP Checklist is not a required component during the development of the wellness policy or implementation plan. However, the checklist can be used as a resource during the creation of the wellness policy and implementation plan to ensure the LWP contains the required content.

Resources to Develop, Implement and Strengthen Local Wellness Policies and Wellness Implementation Plans

The resources listed below can help schools develop a wellness policy with goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity and other school based activities that promote student wellness. Resources are also available to support the translation of the wellness policy into a wellness implementation plan. The implementation plan generates a strategy that describes how the wellness policy requirements will be implemented into the school environment to address the goals and objectives identified in the policy.

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Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
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Commissioner Sid Miller

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