A North Dakota congresswoman has introduced legislation that could give schools more flexibility in helping them provide more balanced sources of protein on lunch menus.
Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-ND) was joined by her colleagues Thursday in introducing a new school nutrition bill that reduces federal mandates on school lunch standards, which have been a point of contention since their implementation at the beginning of the 2012 school year.
“Parents, students and school administrators alike have reached out to me with serious concerns about the new school lunch standards,” Noem says. “This bill would give those who see our kids every day the flexibility they require to make sure students are getting the food necessary to be successful. Making sure our kids are healthy is one of my top priorities, but I also have a responsibility to make sure they don’t go hungry either.”
The Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act has been endorsed by the National School Boards Association, the School Superintendents Association (AASA) and the Council of the Great City Schools. The legislation, which has not yet been assigned a bill number, would:
- Make the USDA’s temporary easing of the meat and grain requirements permanent, allowing schools more flexibility in serving meats and grains while still staying within calorie maximums
- Give administrators flexibility on some of the rules that have increased costs for school districts