Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools
WASHINGTON, D.C. | June 27, 2013 -The Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), today held a hearing to examine the effects of new federal school meal program regulations issued by the Department of Agriculture under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. During the hearing, a panel of school nutrition experts described the challenges these regulations have created for schools and districts.
To better understand the implications of the federal school meal regulations, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) visited eight districts in an ongoing study of the implementation of the new regulations. Kay Brown, GAO’s Director of Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues, testified about the findings of the study. “The new limits on the amounts of grains and meats or meat alternates led officials in all 8 districts to modify or eliminate some popular menu items,” Ms. Brown said. “School food officials in 5 of the districts we visited told us it was difficult to meet the minimum calorie requirements for grades 9-12 while also adhering to the meat and grain limits.” Additionally, Mrs. Brown stated school food officials in each district expressed concerns about the requirements’ effect on their financial stability.
“The National Lunch and Breakfast programs are critical to ensuring low-income students have access to healthy and affordable meals, but costly regulations dictated from the federal government could reduce participation in these important programs,” Rep. Rokita concluded. “As policymakers, we have a responsibility to discuss the concerns raised by students, parents, and school administrators as we work to put these programs on a more sustainable path for the future.”
To read witness testimony, opening statements, or watch an archived webcast of today’s hearing, visitwww.edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.