Congressman Bill Owens is applauding a decision by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to eliminate daily and weekly limits on grain and meats in school lunches.
Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 the USDA was given greater authority to set standards for school lunches, with the goal of providing high quality meals for the students. The USDA issued regulations that took effect this fall that set calorie limits which many parents and school administrators felt were overly strict. Many students said they did not like the foods served under the new regulations and complained of being left hungry by the lunches.
In response to the concerns, Owens wrote to the USDA earlier in October asking that the department reconsider the regulations on calorie limits for lunches.
“USDA set guidelines for school lunches that just didn’t work for many students, parents and school administrators,” said Owens. “It is my hope that eliminating the limit on grains and meat will give school districts the flexibility they need to provide school lunches that are both healthy and sufficient. However, I will look to local administrators for guidance to determine if additional changes are required.”
A copy of Owens’ letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack is available at http://owens.house.gov/uploadedfiles/calorie_ltr_sec_vilsack.pdf.