About the Podcast:

School nutrition hero Dayle Hayes works within child nutrition programs provided by educational facilities. She shares how schools fed millions during the COVID-19 pandemic, reveals why struggling families rely on these programs, and advocates for them even as school looks different these days.



Dayle Hayse



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Her #1 tip to improve access to healthy food:

All meals at school should be free because many families are close to being food insecure.

About Dayle Hayes: 

Dayle Hayes is an award-winning author and educator. Her creativity and common-sense have made her a sought-after speaker across the USA. As a parent and member of the School Nutrition Association, Dayle is dedicated make school environments healthy for students and staff. She collected school success stories for Making It Happen, a joint CDC-USDA project, wrote a chapter on communicating with students in Managing Child Nutrition Programs: Leadership for Excellence, and co-authored the Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACND): Nutrition Guidance for Healthy Children Ages 2 to 11 Years.

In recognition of her professional and volunteer leadership, Dayle has received numerous honors, including Montana Dietitian of the Year, and an ADA Excellence in Consultation and Business Practice Award. In January 2012, she received the Silver FAME Award as a Friend of Child Nutrition from the national School Nutrition Association. FoodService Director magazine recently named her as one of their “20 Most Influential” for 2012.

Hayes has served on the ACND Board of Directors where she chaired the Public Initiative Team and Technology Task Force. She also is a past president of the Montana Dietetic Association and Past-Chair of the School Nutrition Services Dietetics Practice Group.

Discussion Takeaways:

  • Hunger does not quarantine.
  • School meals are part of the educational process.
  • People who don’t see the face of hunger, don’t understand how it can exist in every county.
  • COVID allows people to see how essential school meals are for children and education.
  • Just because people are working, does not mean they have enough money for food their family needs.
  • Let’s make meals available to all children just like books, iPads, and more.
  • The budget for school meals is on average $3.00 per meal which includes administration costs, food costs, labor costs, healthcare insurance, utilities, and more.

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