Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made an announcement last week that’s particularly important given current efforts in Congress to weaken school food standards relating to whole grains, sodium and fruits and vegetables.
According to the USDA, fully 95 percent of schools are now successfully meeting the requirements of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.
When I trumpet good news like this, I’m not insensitive to the fact that some districts are still struggling to meet the HHFKA standards. But when an overwhelming majority of districts are proving that the standards are workable, doesn’t it make more sense to help the struggling minority than to roll back the standards?
Or, as Vilsack put it in his statement:
“Updated healthy school meal standards were created based on the expert advice of pediatricians and nutrition experts and are being widely embraced by students, parents, educators, and nutrition professionals. We are very encouraged that 95 percent of schools are now successfully providing more nutritious meals to their students. We are working with schools to provide funding, training, and flexibility so that 100 percent of schools will be able to successfully serve children healthier meals. Now that we are so close to the finish line, it would be unwise to roll back healthy meal standards just as they are beginning to work to ensure our kids have access to the balanced, nutritious food doctors recommend.”
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