Author Topic: Trump rolls back Obama era public school lunch regulations  (Read 455 times)

Offline Hypestyle

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Trump rolls back Obama era public school lunch regulations
« on: December 07, 2018, 09:55:47 am »

The Trump administration has finalized a rollback of school lunch regulations championed for years by former first lady Michelle Obama.

Under the rules first announced last year, schools are now allowed to offer more flavored milk options, like chocolate. Additionally, the Obama-era efforts to limit sodium content in school lunches have been delayed or partially eliminated. The announcement Thursday doesn't require schools to make any changes, but allows them to relax restrictions on those products.

The changes will impact 99,000 schools and institutions that feed 30 million children every year, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Children in a summer program eat lunch at a cafeteria in Buxton, Maine, July 12, 2018.

At a May 2017 press conference first announcing the move to deregulate school food, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the decision was not meant to reduce nutritional standards. He argued that children would avoid nutritious foods all together if they weren't given more flavored options.

"I wouldn't be as big as I am today without chocolate milk," Perdue said at the time.

The decision is part of the Trump administration’s broad efforts to reduce “unnecessary regulatory burdens” across the federal government.

(MORE: Trump administration relaxing Obama-era school lunch standards)
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food policy advocacy group, condemned the move.

“The Trump administration is putting politics before children’s health in ways worse than were expected,” the organization said in a statement.

Homemade taco, tortilla chips, corn and edamame, grape tomatoes, ranch dressing, clementine & 1% milk make up a student meal at at an elementary school in Silver Spring, Md., Feb. 12, 2018.
Washington Post via Getty Images, FILE
Homemade taco, tortilla chips, corn and edamame, grape tomatoes, ranch dressing, clementine & 1% milk make up a student meal at at an elementary school in Silver Spring, Md., Feb. 12, 2018.
(MORE: Regular chocolate milk back on school menus as Obama-era rules are eased)
Park Wilde, a food policy professor at Tufts University, said the USDA should provide clear evidence before rolling back standards.

"For many years, leading researchers and public health nutrition organizations have urged USDA to provide children with school meals that have less salt and sugar, and more whole grains,” Wild said. “This rule does the opposite."
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Offline Battle

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Re: Trump rolls back Obama era public school lunch regulations
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2019, 01:39:05 pm »
Monday, 24th June 2019
Rep. Omar introduces No Shame at School Act to stop shaming of kids over school lunch debt
by Marissa Higgins

Given that student loan debt is a crisis, it tends to be the focus of conversation when it comes to debt relief in education.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, however, has highlighted another debt problem in education:

school lunch debt.

Last Wednesday, Omar and Democratic U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, also of Minnesota, introduced a bill known as the No Shame at School Act to eliminate the school lunch debt shaming practices that continue to terrorize kids and teenagers.

“Across this country, students whose families are struggling to afford school meals are being singled out and humiliated at lunchtime,” said Omar.

Not all families can afford the cost of school meals for their children.

Schools have reacted in some traumatizing ways:

Whether it’s identifying kids who are in “lunch debt” with a wristband or separate lunch line, or using actual debt collectors to get money from parents, these practices embarrass kids and cause strain on families.
Mind you, for many kids, these lunches are the only meals they can consistently rely on.

The last thing low-income kids and their families need is more stress or shame surrounding food.

"Everyone knows you can't learn or perform well when you are hungry. We need to support students in Minnesota and across the country by ensuring that kids are not humiliated because of an inability to pay for lunch," Smith said in a statement.

Studies back this up.

"Just take a look at Trump's budget, which would cut $1.7 billion from the child nutrition program and eliminate food assistance to millions," Rep. Omar said.

Schools would receive federal reimbursement for unpaid meals within 90 days, provided that they follow a certification process outlined in the bill.

“We are a nation of tremendous wealth. Hunger in this country is the result of policies that keep wages low and funnel wealth to the top,” Omar continued.

“It is the result of a political system that says it is OK to spend money on tax breaks for millionaires and the same companies who taint our economy, but we can’t afford to fund meals for our kids in the streets.”

On a state level, a few places, including Virginia, California, and New Mexico, have already banned shaming practices in relation to student lunch debt.

Another face you might recognize from Omar’s press conference is Valerie Castile, who in May personally donated $8,000 to Robbinsdale Cooper High School in New Hope, Minnesota, to pay off lunch debt for students.

Castile’s son, Philando Castile, was shot and killed by police in 2016.

Before his death, he worked in a school cafeteria and was loved by the students.

According to Castile, her son often paid for student lunches for kids who couldn’t.

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