Contact Us
Make My Homepage

House Considers Bill to Waive School Meal Rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House considered legislation on Wednesday that would allow some schools to opt out of healthier meal standards — a proposal that has drawn a veto threat from the White House.

School Lunch
Scott Olson, Getty Images

The GOP spending bill on the House floor would allow schools to waive the school lunch and breakfast standards championed by first lady Michelle Obama for the next school year if they lost money on meal programs over a six-month period.

In a statement threatening a veto, the White House said Tuesday that the bill would be “a major step backwards for the health of American children by undermining the effort to provide kids with more nutritious food.”

The school meal rules set by Congress and the Obama administration over the past several years require more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in the lunch line. Also, there are limits on sodium, sugar and fat.

Some school nutrition directors have lobbied for a break, saying the rules have proved to be costly and restrictive. The schools pushing for changes say limits on sodium and requirements for more whole grains are particularly challenging, while some school officials say kids are throwing away fruits and vegetables they are required to take.

Republicans have said the standards are overreach. Rep. Robert Aderholt of Alabama, the Republican author of the agriculture spending bill that includes the provision, said the rules were put in place too quickly and schools need more time to comply. On the House floor, he emphasized that the waivers are meant to be temporary.

“This is a real problem in many school districts across the country,” Aderholt said. “It only allows schools more time if they need it.”

California Rep. Sam Farr, the top Democrat on the agriculture spending panel, called the provision a “cop-out.” He held a rally on Capitol Hill Wednesday with parents, chefs and lawmakers to protest the opt-out language and is expected to offer an amendment to strip out the provision.

Mrs. Obama has lobbied Congress to keep the standards, holding a White House event late last month with school nutrition directors who said the guidelines are working in their schools. On Thursday, she is scheduled to harvest crops from the White House kitchen garden with school nutrition directors and children from schools that have successfully put the standards in place.

A final vote on the agriculture spending bill is expected Wednesday or Thursday. The Senate did not include the opt-out language in its version of the spending bill.

 

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!