Amy Ulrich, lead on the Best Practices for School Meals – Lunch position adopted last fall, testified in favor of HB 1272, which would direct OSPI to identify six demonstration sites to support a 20-minute seated lunch period.
Testimony on HB 1272 2/5/2019 3:30 p.m., House Education, HHR A
Good afternoon, Madam Chair. I am Amy Ulrich representing Washington State PTA.
We support this bill and ask for some minor amendments.
Child and adult labor laws call for a 30-minute duty-free meal period. Certificated and classified employees of the schools have the same legal protection. Students do not. The current regulation does not define “adequate” lunch duration, and a UW study found that NONE of the Seattle elementary schools had adequate lunch periods based on CDC, USDA, and AAP national standards. This is true across the state.
43% of Washington students receive free and reduced lunches. Most students consume 30-50% of their daily calories at school. Students with short lunches waste 43% of their food; Rushed eating is directly related to obesity, and obesity is related to numerous other future health challenges.
We support legislation and policies that define an adequate lunch period for students of 20 minutes to eat lunch, after being seated, with additional time scheduled to move through the lunch line and clean up;
We also support recess before lunch policies and ask that this be included in the test sites.
Schools play a critical role in providing access to adequate nutrition, and the formation of healthy eating habits that are a cornerstone to health, well-being, learning, and academic achievement.
We encourage you to amend and support House Bill 1272. Thank you.