As School Starts to Wind Down, School Lunch Ramps Up

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In a week when the annual California Dietetic Association conference served food from McDonald’s for lunch, we’re not surprised to learn of another misguided effort to “improve” children’s nutrition.

Go to IL Rep. Rodney Davis’s (R) website,

 where it tells you that Davis is championing schools by writing a letter to Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack urging the USDA to allow more flexibility in school lunch menus by easing standards for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFK). However, Politico’s Helena Bottemiller Evich sees it a little differently. She explains that this is another example of unprecedented congressional input into the school lunch regulations set by the USDA:

It’s a move that has nutrition advocates very concerned, not only for the regulations but because it represents what they see as a growing pattern of partisanship and congressional intervention in school nutrition policy set by the Department of Agriculture."

Though we DO like to see congressional efforts to support school lunch budgets, we don’t think that it should come at the cost of the nutrition of our nation’s children. The set of HHFK reforms that Davis and his crew are taking issue with are set to go into effect in July, so we will keep our eye on this one.

Also on the school front, in a short and sweet blog post, Marion Nestle highlights the fact that the USDA will be giving $25 million to schools for equipment upgrades in their kitchens. She writes:

The grants are a response to a report by the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project – a collaboration with The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The report found that 88% of school districts nationwide need at least one piece of equipment, and 55% need infrastructure upgrades."

Nestle offers a way to get in touch with the USDA Office of Communications to thank the agency for their work."

Sources:

 Read all articles by Damon Cory-Watson

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