House considers bill to waive school meal rules

Proposal has drawn veto threat from the White House
Associated Press
Jun 11, 2014

 

The House began to consider legislation Wednesday that would allow some schools to opt out of healthier meal standards — a proposal that has drawn a veto threat from the White House.

The GOP spending bill on the House floor would allow schools to waive the school lunch and breakfast standards championed by first lady Michelle Obama for the next school year if they lost money on meal programs over a six-month period. The chamber is expected to have a final vote on the bill next week.

In a statement threatening a veto, the White House said Tuesday that the bill would be "a major step backwards for the health of American children by undermining the effort to provide kids with more nutritious food."

The school meal rules set by Congress and the Obama administration over the past several years require more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in the lunch line. Also, there are limits on sodium, sugar and fat.

Some school nutrition directors have lobbied for a break, saying the rules have proved to be costly and restrictive. The schools pushing for changes say limits on sodium and requirements for more whole grains are particularly challenging, while some school officials say kids are throwing away fruits and vegetables they are required to take.

Republicans have said the standards are overreach. Rep. Robert Aderholt of Alabama, the Republican author of the agriculture spending bill that includes the provision, said the rules were put in place too quickly and schools need more time to comply. On the House floor, he emphasized that the waivers are meant to be temporary.

"This is a real problem in many school districts across the country," Aderholt said. "It only allows schools more time if they need it."

California Rep. Sam Farr, the top Democrat on the agriculture spending panel, called the provision a "cop-out." He held a rally on Capitol Hill Wednesday with parents, chefs and lawmakers to protest the opt-out language and is expected to offer an amendment to strip out the provision.

Mrs. Obama has lobbied Congress to keep the standards, holding a White House event late last month with school nutrition directors who said the guidelines are working in their schools. On Thursday, she is scheduled to harvest crops from the White House kitchen garden with school nutrition directors and children from schools that have successfully put the standards in place.

The Senate did not include the opt-out language in its version of the spending bill.

Comments

Donegan

Lost another city in Iraq, Debts is going up, Veterans are dieing, NSA spying on citizens, Our rights are being violated daily, Unemployment is at 12.2%, China and Russia are dropping the petrodollar, The ACA is making insurance cost skyrocket and the EPA is going to regulate the rest of the jobs away but for heavens sake the white house is going to make a stand on the food they feed the kids who are being taught by "Teachers" who have helped the US fall out of the top 10 places for Math, Science and Literature.
This is why you do not elect street corner community organizers as leaders.

deertracker

This is America. Iraq is not America's problem. The debt is not going up. People die daily, including vets. The government is not listening to little Johnny say goodnight to grandma. Whatever they are doing has been going on for decades. It's been proven the ACA has helped ins. premiums go down.

If you love your family you should want them to be healthy to live a long productive life.

Contango

Re: "The debt is not going up,"

Say wha?

$17.6 trillion, plus upwards to an estimated $100 trillion in potential unfunded liabilities says you are wrong.

Donegan

Come back to reality every once in awhile and check in. I fear for how delusional you leftist have become.

deertracker

HATERS!!!!!!!!!!!! How are you guys going to survive when he is done? You won't.

Donegan

Get help Deertracker.

Dr. Information

deer lay off the booze and weed.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Like a spoiled, angry child, you have the mindset of a five-year-old, immature and emotional.

Larry

Deertracker -- You are dilussional

Darwin's choice

Stupid moonbat.

obama/failing

grumpy

Re: "The debt is not going up."

The gov't estimate for the 2014 deficit is 648 Billion. That is how much more the gov't is spending than it is taking in.

I will keep this in mind when reading other comment you make for the next few weeks. It is easy to prove, easy to find and common knowledge that there has been deficit spending for quite a few years. That is why the National Debt is going up. But I guess you are not up on what is common knowledge. Let alone facts that I and others have posted and linked gov't sources to.

YoMamma

They need an ACTUAL photo of the crap they serve at school!

ladydye_5

Agreed. Salads have no eggs or croutons. The lettuce is brown, slimy and wilted. My kids have actually taken them BACK to the lunch lady and refused them after they get to the table and stirred them up and find all the YUCK in the bottom.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

If you'd like to know what the children of our Congress members (both parties) and President are eating, you can check out their lunch schedule here: http://www.sidwell.edu/calendars...

This was their last day of school:
Black Bean Soup
Citrus Spinach Salad
Deviled Egg Salad
Baked Chicken Patty Sandwich
Veggie Wrap
Farmer's Market Vegetables
Pesto Pasta
Italian Ice

In the words of Mel Brooks, "It's good to be the king."
http://www.aidthoughts.org/wp-co...

As a note I don't begrudge wealth nor private schools. It is just an interesting frame for context about those who make decisions. About how they themselves may be surrounded by conditions others aren't (living in a concentrated area) that can lead to presumptions about the rest of the country and its inhabitants' lives.

The square mileage of the U.S. is 3.794 million.
The square mileage of D.C. is 68.3.

Pterocarya frax...

"Its good to be king".....Really??

In the words of Ronald Reagan:

"there you go again".

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I can't add obvious humor complete with a link for contextual reference to try and bring a smidge of brevity to a dogging topic?

Would it have made more sense or not been an issue if I said, "Let them eat gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, fair trade certified, non-gmo, no trans fat, BCTGM-made, organically grown ingredients cake"?
http://www.bonappetit.com/wp-con...

The Reagan quote is always appreciated, too.

Contango

I've read where many of these 'healthy' choices end up in the trash.

Reminds me:

I once read where the beneficent U.S. govt. sent milk powder to Africa.

Blacks tend to be lactose intolerant.

So they mixed the dehydrated milk with water and used it to paint their huts white.

Thanks U.S.A.!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I don't know about the rest, but "plate waste" is something that should be a concern from a budgetary and nutritional standpoint.

Plate Waste in School Nutrition Programs
Final Report to Congress

"...Cost of Plate Waste

No one has estimated the economic costs of plate waste. A simple way to do this is to multiply the plate waste estimate of 12 percent calories from food by $5.49 billion, the portion of the $6.2 billion NSLP
allocation for fiscal year (FY) 2000 that went to cash payments for meals. This method does not adjust for differences in costs of food items wasted (e.g., more expensive entrees vs. less expensive side dishes)
because these data are not available. The method also assumes that the economic costs of plate waste include the overhead and labor costs of preparing and serving the meals. This simple methodology yields an annual
cost of plate waste in the NSLP of over $600 million.

This estimate does not include the costs of the Federal share of State administrative expenses, any wasted commodity entitlements or bonus food, or the private costs of wasted foods purchased by students under the
NSLP program. Also, the estimate does not include the value of lost nutrition and health benefits..."

http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/88...

This was in 2002. Presumably we have more younger people in school and a school program that has changed recently. Plate waste will always be a problem, but how is it going to be addressed? Congress can mandate kids eat veggies, but when they don't? Do we need police officers in the lunchroom enforcing the consumption of peas?

That was then, this is now. I thought I remembered something about a study in Boston (hardly a bastion for stereotypical "right wingnuts" and their NASCAR-enjoying ignorance) so I looked it up and found this:

School Lunch Waste Among Middle School Students: Nutrients Consumed and Costs

"Conclusions

There is substantial food waste among middle school students in Boston. Overall, students' nutrient consumption levels were below school meal standards, and foods served were not valid proxies for foods consumed. The costs associated with discarded foods are high; if translated nationally for school lunches, roughly $1,238,846,400 annually is wasted. Students might benefit if additional focus were given to the quality and palatability of school meals."

http://www.sciencedirect.com/sci...

Now that's one major city so perhaps can be anecdotal but this is also a city that isn't broke, you don't hear about being a murder capital, etc., and who hasn't had a Republican mayor since 1930 (as general evidence in the way the citizens think/act/vote).

"...However, compared to other communities of similar population size, Boston has a crime rate that is noticeably lower than the average. This means that for comparably sized cities all across America, Boston is actually safer than most according to NeighborhoodScout's exclusive analysis of FBI crime data..."

http://www.neighborhoodscout.com...

So I dunno, Contango. I'm not "against" nutrition but I can only wonder if what is being done is the most efficient way of accomplishing the goal put forward. I believe on several occasions that you finished the quote of "You can lead a horse to water..." with "...but you can make him thirsty."

Are our local schools being made thirsty by the Federal government who finds local leaders incompetent enough to look after their own (in many cases literally) kids?

There you go again

That's not what we eat at our school.

I

Of course, Barack threatened to veto. Would you want to incur Michelle's wrath? She's downright scary! Plus, he's a bit of a wimp.

Contango

Block grant money to the States and set up some nutritional guidelines - done!

On the other hand, the centralized planning govt. organ known as the USDA has 105,000 employees; gotta give 'em something to do for their nice wages and rich benefits.

KnuckleDragger

Considering the huge amount of guns and ammo bought by the USDA over the past couple of years I would say they are going to force those nutritional guidelines down our throats at gun point. LOL

coasterfan

If it's an issue that involves promoting good health, we can always count on the GOP to oppose it.

The irony of course, is that promoting healthy eating results in fewer health problems down the road, which would keep medical spending lower for millions, including less Medicare spending.

So, by opposing common sense things like good nutrition in school lunches, the House GOP, in essence, is saying "don't believe us when we gripe about healthcare costs or increased spending in general'>

freespeech1

Its not the governments job to tell anyone what they can and cannot eat. If your that stupid that you cant figure out what to have for lunch I feel for you. healthcare costs you say? Well come on deerpecker obamacare is supposed to fix all that right?

Darwin's choice

He is that stupid......

obama/failing

Informed

Um, when the government is providing the food they have every right to decide what to serve.

YoMamma

I remember my daughter texting a photo of her nacho chips and cheese she had for lunch. Thats highly nutritional!