Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New national school lunch bill

The national school lunch bill is out for markup today (it just started at 10; you can watch it here). As was correctly pointed out in this New York Times column on Sunday, the main news is that there is no additional money included in the bill. This still leaves school lunches (and breakfasts) woefully underfunded, particularly for a program on which so much depends.
The bill does:
  • extend the length of time until school districts have to hit the new lower sodium levels. That requirement also must be reviewed by an outside entity by July 2019.
  • lowers the percentage of grain products that must be 51% whole grain from 100% to 80% 
  • provide greater flexibility (and possibly more funding?) for summer feeding programs
  • establishes loan and grant programs for school kitchen modernization
  • leave the fruit and vegetable requirements intact. 

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