The Senate Committee on Agriculture led by Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member John Boozman held its first hearing on Child Nutrition Reauthorization this week.
The committee heard from several witnesses including Director of Nutrition Services for Littleton Public Schools in Littleton, Colo., Jessica Gould who asked for the continuation of the current waiver flexibilities that eliminate area eligibility and allow students to pick up non congregate meals for multiple days. Gould also asked Congress that they maintain the current flexibilities on sodium, whole grains and milk.
“I see many of [our students] walking across the street to a fast food restaurant because they think that our food doesn't have enough flavor,” she told the committee. “Tier 3 sodium is incredibly concerning to me. Many meal staples like a turkey and cheese sandwich on a whole grain bread or a salad with chicken breast and no dressing and any of our scratch made items including our students’ favorite marinara would be cut.”
The committee will continue to meet to discuss Child Nutrition Reauthorization in the coming weeks. The last time Child Nutrition Reauthorization occurred was in 2010 when the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed. Earlier this month, Boozman spoke to attendees at the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference and said that the committee plans to make Child Nutrition Reauthorization a priority this year.