Foodservice advocates, legislators reach common ground on Child Nutrition Reauthorization

School foodservice directors won a qualified victory last week when lawmakers agreed to incorporate changes sought by FSDs and nutritionists in a bill reauthorizing the federal school-lunch program. 

The integrity of the bill remains, with a few adjustments to help relieve challenges to FSDs, according to the School Nutrition Association, a trade group that represents school-foodservice professionals.

Among the concessions was an easing of contentious whole grain regulations, with the requirement rewritten to mandate that 80 percent of grains offered by schools participating in the federal school lunch program be whole grain rich, down from 100 percent.

The compromise also included a two-year extension for Target 2 sodium limits. Now slated for July 1, 2019, the cap on salt levels will coincide with the launch of a study on sodium reduction and whether the new limits are realistic for food companies.

The agreement also addresses FSDs’ concerns about mandatory fruit and vegetable servings. The fruits or vegetables students are required to take are often thrown away rather than eaten, FSDs have complained. Under the agreement, the USDA will inform local governments of best practices for maintaining salad bars and sharing tables, a step toward encouraging students to eat what they are required to put on their trays.

In 2014, a federal snack rule limited what items schools participating in the federal subsidy program could serve in vending machines and a la carte stations. Lawmakers agreed last week to include language in the reauthorization bill to form a working group that would advice the USDA on allowable a la carte items.

The SNA worked with the USDA and senators on the agreement. “In the absence of increased funding, this agreement eases operational challenges and provides school meal programs critical flexibility to help them plan healthy school meals that appeal to students,” SNA President Jean Ronnei, SNS, said in a news release.

Legislators have delayed consideration of the bill, set to renew every five years, since September.

A markup of the compromise bill, when the language would be finalized, is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
uber driver

The freelance, independent-contractor labor market known as the gig economy is distinguished by working short-term contracts, or gigs, such as driving for Uber, Lyft or Instacart.

The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027, according to a study called “Freelancing in America: 2017,” conducted by Edelman Intelligence. The annual study, commissioned in partnership by the Freelancers Union and Upwork Global, estimates that 36% of the U.S. workforce consists of freelancers who contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually—an increase of almost 30% over the...

Industry News & Opinion

Sturgeon Bay Schools in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has partnered with a local farm to construct a school greenhouse , Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Construction will begin soon, and the district says that the project is already 75% funded. Once the building is finished, students will be able to grow their own food at the greenhouse and then learn how to preserve it through canning and other methods.

“The greenhouse will provide students with the opportunity to grow food, sample food they have cultivated, design planting plans, tend seedlings, integrate real-life technology in...

Sponsored Content
eating mac and cheese

From AFP advanced food products llc

Some iconic food pairings have stood the test of time―peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, just to name a few.

But, classic doesn’t mean boring or on the way out. In fact, there’s been a resurgence of mac and cheese on menus. According to 2018 data from Technomic’s MenuMonitor, mac and cheese menu mentions have grown by the following percentages over the past four years:

On the kids menu: 10.4% As an entree: 7.5% As a side/extra: 8.2%

In addition to increasing menu instances, noncommercial...

Sponsored Content
seafood salad

From High Liner Foods.

Seafood—whether it’s in the form of fish and chips or tuna salad—is a menu staple for many foodservice locations. But seafood doesn’t have to be limited to just the center of the plate—it shines on other parts of the menu as well, from soups and salads to sides and snacks.

Here are four ways that seafood and fish are moving outside of the main course.

Soups

Starting the meal with soup is common for many diners, and in noncommercial settings, there’s usually an array of soups available each day. According to Technomic’s 2017 Center of the...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code