Proposed legislation would make meat, grain eliminations permanent

Representative says the Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act would give schools more flexibility.

Dec. 9—Proposed legislation to cut federal mandates on school lunch standards is expected, but the implications for fruit and vegetable requirements in school meals are unclear.

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., has titled the legislation “Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act” and promised in a release on her website that the pending legislation would make the USDA’s temporary easing of the meat and grain requirements permanent. She also said the bill would allow schools more flexibility in serving meats and grains while still staying within calorie maximums.

The legislation would give school administrators flexibility in some rules that have increased costs for school districts. 

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A new law in Washington will expand Breakfast After the Bell programs throughout the state, the Daily Fly reports.

Signed into law on Wednesday by Gov. Jay Inslee, HB 1508 requires that schools in which at least 70% of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals offer Breakfast After the Bell by the time the 2019-2020 school year begins.

The food offered at breakfast must meet federal nutrition standards and can’t be made up of more than 25% added sugar. Schools must also give preference to food that is fresh and grown in the state.

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The University of Southern California in Los Angeles will begin offering fresh kosher meals three times a week at its USC Village Dining Hall, the Daily Trojan reports.

The meals will be delivered to the dining hall every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening by a local kosher butcher beginning March 20. The butcher will also deliver sandwiches, salads and other kosher items to a marketplace on campus.

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The Missouri House of Representatives has initially approved a bill that would enable students with dietary issues to forgo mandatory meal plans at public colleges and universities, U.S. News reports.

Approved Tuesday, the bill would grant students with medical documentation of food sensitivities, food allergies or medical dietary issues the right to opt out of meal plans.

Supporters of the bill say it will allow students to not have to pay for food they can’t safely eat, while opponents say that the bill will negatively impact schools financially. According to legislative...

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