Now for some broccoli from our friends at RISE Stronger. We actually really do mean broccoli, because the Trump administration moved to relax school meals’ nutritional requirements. This is not small potatoes--school meals are a vital part of the social safety net -- half of all school children are eligible for free and reduced lunch. What makes this even harder to stomach is that Michelle Obama made healthy school meals one of her top priorities as (the best) first lady (ever).
Trump sure has made it an unhealthy habit to roll back Obama-era protections, and healthy school lunches are now on the butcher block. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, under the guise of "making school meals great again," has issued a proclamation in support of more lenient school nutrition standards. Specifically, the proposed rule:
permits the continued use of whole grain waivers, which exempt certain products from meeting whole grain standards;
freezes current sodium limits through 2020, rather than moving forward with progressive sodium targets; and
allows schools to serve low-fat flavored milk, which is currently prohibited due to its added sugar and fat content.
The American Heart Association is one of many vocal critics, stating that the USDA’s move “deserves an F”. All-of-us must must fight for A+ standards for school meals--our kids deserve it.
1 Skim the proposal here.
2 By Monday, 1/29, submit a comment to the USDA here.
Sample language: I write to object to the proposed relaxing of standards on the quality of food served to our nation’s neediest children. Keeping, not gutting whole grains, minimizing, not growing sodium levels, and avoiding rather than embracing sugary milk drinks is in the best interest of our kids. The American Heart association is just one organization that has given these roll backs an “F”. [Add your personal feelings about nutrition and why you think this proposal would harm children.]