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Office for Food and Nutrition Programs

Nutrition Education and Training Program

What Is It

In 1977, The Nutrition Education and Training Program (NET) was enacted under section 19, Public Law 95-146. The Food and Nutrition Service operates the NET Program to support nutrition education in the food assistance programs for children: The National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast, Summer Food Service, and Child and Adult Care Food Programs. The Massachusetts NET Program was established to support nutrition education for children, parents, educators, and food service personnel.

Who Operates It

Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), grants are awarded to State Agencies. To administer Nutrition Education and Training services, Nutrition Programs and Services employs a Nutrition Education and Training Coordinator who has the responsibility of assessing Massachusetts students' nutrition education needs. A plan is developed and implemented to meet the changing needs of the various populations served.

The Department is supported in its NET endeavors by the John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition. The Stalker Institute is a joint venture of Nutrition Programs and Services and Framingham State College.  The Institute activities are funded through the NET Program grant from the USDA.

Team Nutrition and Training Program

Through USDA's Team Nutrition and Training Program, The Food and Nutrition Service also provides schools with nutrition education materials and other support for children, and technical assistance for food service professional staffs. Massachusetts received a three year Team Nutrition and Training Grant in 1996 for 144,116. These funds were used to support the following items:

  1. Programming and Resource Library for members of the Nutrition Education Health Team at the John Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State College
  2. Internet Technology
  3. Dietary Guideline on the Move Workshops, Train-the-trainer program
  4. Peer Resource Group of Food Service Directors
  5. Distribution of the American Heart Association's Menu Board

Major Goals of NET

  • To encourage good eating habits and teach children the relationship between food and health.
  • To train food service personnel in nutrition and food service management and to encourage the use of the cafeteria as an environment for learning about food and nutrition.
  • To instruct educators in nutrition education and in the use of the cafeteria and food service setting as learning laboratories.
  • To develop appropriate educational materials and curricula.

Who Is Eligible To Participate?

All public and nonprofit private schools and agencies eligible to participate in Child Nutrition Programs as well as land grant or public institutions of higher education may benefit from the NET Program. These include schools, child care centers, residential and nonresidential child care institutions.

Federal NET Program Funding

Fiscal Data For Fiscal Year 1998, Massachusetts received $55,879 in NET Funds compared to $66, 951 for FY 97.

Information obtained from: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Nutrition and Technical Services Division, Budget Division, Governmental Affairs Staff, USDA - NERO.

Fiscal YearsAnnual Funding (in Millions)Massachusetts Annual Funding (in Thousands)

* not a congressional appropriation
** The President's budget requests $10 million for FY 1999 for the NET Program.
*** 1989 funding data only

For further information on USDA's Team Nutrition and Training Program, please contact USDA Public Affairs: Team Nutrition Information, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 802, Alexandria, VA 22302. Phone (703) 305-2286 or Fax (703) 305-1117. To obtain information via the internet, check out Team Nutrition's Home Page.

Last Updated: March 8, 2016

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.