USDA memo issued to schools regarding tap water safety
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has issued a memorandum calling on all its regional offices and all state agencies to ensure that children in NSLP schools and CACFP childcare homes and centers have access to drinking water that is both free and safe.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires provision of potable water in the place where meals are served in all schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (the vast majority of U.S. schools), and throughout the day in childcare homes and centers participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (about half of all licensed childcare). The memo repeats the US EPA’s recommendation that “all schools and child care facilities routinely test drinking water for lead and perform regular maintenance to ensure that drinking water is safe.” The memo describes resources for testing and remedition, including funding, educational materials, and technical assistance.
The memo also represents an important opportunity for advocates to support, translate, and broadly disseminate this critically important message.