House GOP bill would roll back school lunch program rules

The new bill would allow some schools to opt out of healthier lunch and breakfast programs if they are losing money.

WASHINGTON—The new proposed bill for school lunch programs and breakfast programs would allow some schools to apply for waivers if they have a net loss on school food programs for a six-month period.

The new standards, which were set in place by first lady Michelle Obama, have been put in place over the last two years, with more changes to come this year. The new school lunch program standards have set limits on fat, calorie, sugar and sodium amounts in foods sold in schools.

Some schools have adjusted to the new rules and had success, while others have said the school lunch program and breakfast program rules are too restrictive and pricy.

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Ideas and Innovation
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On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
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We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
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We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
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Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

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