The Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children (WIC)  Reauthorization Act of 2004 requires all educational entities participating in the National School Lunch Program to establish local school wellness policies. In 2010, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (the Act) regulations added Section 9A to expand upon the previous local wellness policy requirement from the Reauthorization.

The 2010 legislation strengthens wellness policies by emphasizing ongoing implementation and assessment. This provision also supports a robust process at the community level, including the expansion of the team of collaborators participating in the wellness policy development. This approach is intended to foster broad-based support for effective wellness policies.

The Act requires the local education agency (LEA) to inform and update the public (including parents and students) about the content and implementation of the local wellness policies. Schools typically post this information on the school or district website. LEAs are also required to measure and make available to the public periodic  assessments of the local wellness policy, including:

  • The extent to which schools are in compliance with the local wellness policy. 
  • The extent to which the LEA’s local wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies.
  • The progress made in attaining the goals of the local wellness policy.


Finally, the Act requires LEAs to designate officials, as appropriate, to ensure that each school complies with the local school wellness policy.

Components the Wellness Policy Law: 

  • Goals for nutrition education, physical activity and other school-based activities.
  • Nutrition guidelines for all foods available on each school campus during the school day.
  • Guidelines for reimbursable school meals that are no less restrictive than those issued for the National School Lunch Program.
  • Implementation and evaluation plans of the local wellness policy.
  • Community involvement.
  • Nutrition promotion.


The following organizations have a wealth of wellness policy information.