Kansas lawmakers challenge USDA school lunch requirements
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WASHINGTON, October 3, 2012- Congressman Tim Huelskamp, R-Kans., challenged USDA to embrace its own calorie and nutrition requirements implemented in the National School Lunch Program this week.
“If the USDA demands that 100,000 school districts change their menus and justifies this mandate because schools receive federal money for lunches, then taxpayers should demand that the USDA cafeteria meet the same standards, as USDA operates in taxpayer-funded buildings,” Huelskamp said in his “Nutrition Nanny” challenge to the agency.
“Let’s see if they eat enough to function,” according to his statement. “Let’s see if they like having choices taken away from them.”
In that blog post, Thornton encouraged parents to talk to their children about the changes in school lunches.
"We know that many parents are already making changes at home to help the whole family eat healthier. We recommend reviewing school menus with kids at home and working to incorporate foods that are being served at school into family meals as much as possible," she wrote.
Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kans., also requested answers to questions about the program’s implementation.
In a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Roberts outlined several issues his constituents have with the new requirements, including waste of the required fruits and vegetables as a result of children throwing them away, “insufficient” calories for active students and athletes, and the threat of schools dropping out of the program.
“I agree that improving the nutrition in school meals is a challenge deserving our attention,” according to the letter. “However, now that school districts have begun implementing the new standards, students, parents and administrators across the country are raising many concerns with the new rule.”
The full letter is available here.
Huelskamp and Congressman Steve King, R-Iowa, introduced the “No Hungry Kids Act” in order to undo the new school guidelines implemented as a result of the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” passed in 2010.
This post was updated at 6:30 pm.
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