I’m not sure there’s anything more absurd than our bankrupt, debt-laden federal government which passed passed a budget in years micromanaging school lunches in communities around the nation. Most recently, as a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s war on fat kids, the federal government imposed school lunch guidelines so stringent that many students were left hungry during the day.
The USDA put a moratorium on those new regulations, suspending them temporarily, but Senator John Hoeven is backing legislation to make that moratorium permanent:
The act fixes the latest rulings on meat and grain servings made in December by the Department of Agriculture.
It will “make sure that schools are able to provide healthy, nutritious school lunches” and breakfasts, Hoeven said Tuesday. “But at the same time, that we have the common sense and flexibility built into it so that it meets the kids’ needs and is workable for the schools.”
Hoeven said his bill, S427, lifts the USDA’s previous cap on servings of proteins and grains while leaving in place total calorie caps and the USDA’s emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and non-fat dairy selections.
He said an older version of the nutrition rules, widely derided, cost the nation’s schools $75 million to implement, while older children complained they were hungry.
Hoeven said the USDA’s plan to extend its relaxed guidelines through next year seemed like a piecemeal approach.
“Let’s make this change permanent so schools know what to count on.” he said.
Kudos to Senator Hoeven for fighting the good fight on this issue, but really this is an argument for decoupling the state from federal funding as much as possible. Local education officials shouldn’t have to wait around waiting for Washington DC to do something to solve a problem like inadequate school lunches. Below is an interview I did with North Dakota Superintendent Kirsten Baesler who is backing a study into how to make the state’s schools more independent of federal money and policies.
In related news, North Dakota Democrats who went ballistic over Republicans refusing to increase the daily school milk allotment for school kids from a pint to a pint and a half (won’t anyone think of the poor, starving children?) were totally silent on this issue. The hypocrites.