"In other words, children will be able to buy only foods that their parents would find generally acceptable,' says Jessica Donze Black, director of the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a non-profit, nonpartisan group helping to improve school foods for our kids. If your school participates in the National School Lunch Program (most public schools in the country do), they must adhere to these new snack regulations by the start of the 2014 school year.More info
''Schools across the country continue to struggle with implementing the first new nutritional guidelines in 15 years governing meals served to nearly 32 million U.S. students every day. The new requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National School Lunch Program, put in place in January 2012, include eliminating full-fat milk, boosting whole-grain foods and reducing total calories on menus, and some schools are finding it a challenge to make their menus work under these regulations. Amid pressure from government officials, however, the USDA recently loosened up on some of its requirements on meat and grains.''
'''It wasn’t a big surprise that [the USDA] made those adjustments,' says Erik Olson, director of food programs at the Pew Health Group. 'They decided schools needed some time to do this. Standards for school meals have not been updated in 17 years. Right now, it looks like [these changes] are taking care of the issues some schools were facing that were causing initial growing pains.'
The USDA was unwilling to make more sweeping concessions possibly because there are some school districts that are implementing the new regulations with little difficulty and are not reporting major complaints from their students. A survey from the California Endowment reported that 82% of California students, for example, say they support the changes. The Carrollton City Schools district in Georgia was named one of several school district “success stories” by the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a joint effort between the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to provide a nonpartisan analysis of school nutrition.''
"Three area produce growers have made a solid connection with Siouxland school lunch programs in Hinton, Dakota Valley, and Sioux City Bishop Heelan. The result is a three-way-win, with students getting fresher produce, the local farmers getting access to an important segment of the food service market, and the area economy developing stronger local ties."More info
"These days, it’s easy to blame the federal government for aggravating our lives."More info
As school food authorities work to implement the USDA's new meal standards, they may face challenges, including limitations in existing kitchen equipment and infrastructure, and in the training and skills of food service staff. This is the first of a series of reports summarizing how schools are putting in place the USDA standards and what challenges they face before they can reach full implementation.More info
Institutional and individual consumers have the power to change industrial farming practices that endanger human health. Routinely feeding antibiotics to livestock that are not sick is undermining the effectiveness of life-saving drugs, which leaves children especially vulnerable. That’s why, from inner city Chicago to the suburbs of Denver, schools are buying more food from producers who raise animals without misusing antibiotics.More info
"Menomonie school district students will be getting more fruits and vegetables with their lunches this year."More info