2015 K-12 Census: USDA regulations continue to confound schools
Despite their best efforts, operators still struggle to satisfy healthy menu requirements.
USDA rules continue to bring challenges
Meal requirements for whole grains, sodium reductions and competitive foods continue to make school foodservice programs more difficult to operate, directors say. Generally, however, the largest districts have found following the new regulations to be less challenging than have other size districts:
|SIZE OF DISTRICT PERCENTAGE||MEETING 100% WHOLE GRAIN REQUIREMENTS HAS BEEN EXTREMELY OR VERY CHALLENGING||MEETING SODIUM REDUCTION REQUIREMENTS HAS BEEN EXTREMELY OR VERY CHALLENGING||MEETING COMPETITIVE FOOD (AKA SMART SNACKS) REGULATIONS HAS BEEN EXTREMELY OR VERY CHALLENGING|
Dropping out of the NSLP
Even though the USDA regulations frustrate many operators, relatively few districts say they have dropped out, or have considered dropping out, of the National School Lunch Program. The most onerous regulation seems to be the competitive foods rule: Of the districts that have left or are considering leaving the program, 40 percent say it is because of the "Smart Snack" rule.
Have any of the schools in your district left the national school lunch program?
|Some are considering dropping out||15%|
|None of our schools have dropped out||84%|
|Some have dropped out||1%|