story to find out more.
Desiré Stapley (left) and Corey Scarpero of the Healthy School Meals
Resource System use educational materials to explain nutritional information to
visiting students. Click the image for more information about
A Smorgasbord of Resources for Healthy School
Meals By Rosalie Marion Bliss
October 4, 2005
This month, to celebrate
National School Lunch Week,
many people are accessing customized resource materials from a unique part of
the Agricultural Research Service: the
Beltsville, Md.-based National Agricultural Library (NAL).
NAL manages the world's largest and most accessible compilation of
agricultural research findings and hosts more than 60,000 web pages, including
the Healthy School Meals Resource
System. ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.
Online resources include interactive tools, studies and reports, and
searchable databases, such as a directory of local consulting chefs who will
visit schools. In addition to books and other printed materials, puppets, food
models, videotapes, posters and CD-ROMS are also available. Downloadable
materials include school lunch menu ideas and nutrition education materials for
NAL materials can be borrowed locally through interlibrary loan
between a participating private or public library and NAL. In addition, school
food service professionals, principals, librarians, school nurses and teachers
can borrow from the National Agricultural Library directly through an "Expanded Service Patrons"
Parents and other school volunteers who want to improve the
nutritional quality of meals served in school cafeterias may borrow materials
either through the interlibrary loan route, or by teaming up with an Expanded
The library will ship materials requested by an Expanded Service
Patron without charge. Borrowers need only pay for return shipping of
materials, as well as insurance. The privilege provides 30-day borrowing access
By the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year, each local school
district participating in a USDA school meal program is required to establish a
wellness policy. Healthy school meal advocates from among nearly 100,000
schools nationwide will find a broad array of support in the materials provided
by The Healthy School Meals Resource System.
To get started, go to http://schoolmeals.nal.usda.gov/.
The system is headed by NAL Nutrition Information Specialist
more about this resource in the October issue of Agricultural