As we approach the Child Nutrition Reauthorization in Congress – the every-five-year funding of child nutrition programs – lawmakers will have the opportunity to weaken some of 2010’s biggest school meal improvements with respect to sodium, whole grains and fruits and vegetables.
We already know how the big players feel about this. The School Nutrition Association (SNA), the nation’s largest organization of school food workers, has been leading the charge for school meal roll-backs and, so far, it seems to be getting a sympathetic ear on Capitol Hill. On the other side of the equation, numerous leading public health advocates and organizations are strongly opposed to weakening school meal standards.
But what about ordinary Americans? Do they particularly care about any of this?
According to a new poll released yesterday by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the answer seems to be a resounding “yes.”
In a phone survey conducted this past May, 1,200 randomly selected adults were asked their feelings about school food and other food-related topics. The big findings:
- 93 percent of respondents say it’s very important or somewhat important to serve nutritious foods in school;
- 67 percent say the nutritional quality of food served in public school cafeterias is excellent or good — up 41 percent from a national survey conducted by the foundation in 2010, before the new healthier standards were adopted;
- 86 percent say school food nutrition requirements should stay the same or be strengthened; and
- 83 percent would support increased government funding for kitchen equipment and training to help schools serve healthier meals.
(You can read more here.)
These findings are great news for those who support staying the course on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. But will Congress pay attention to ordinary Americans’ support for strong school food standards, or will their voices be drowned out by lobbyists and powerful organizations like the SNA?
Do You Love The Lunch Tray? ♥♥♥ Then “like” The Lunch Tray! Join over 10,100 TLT fans by liking TLT’s Facebook page, join almost 6,000 TLT followers on Twitter, or get your “Lunch” delivered right to your email inbox by subscribing to my posts. You can download my FREE 40-page guide to “Getting Junk Food Out of Your Child’s Classroom” and be sure to check out my free rhyming video for kids about processed food, “Mr. Zee’s Apple Factory!“