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Committee Requests Study on Controversial New School Lunch Requirements

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), along with Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) today asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to evaluate the impact of new requirements under the National School Lunch Program on students, schools, and taxpayers.

In recent months, reports have indicated the standards are leading to hungrier students, wasted food, and increased costs. As the members note in their letter:

Since the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, state and local officials, parents, and students have raised concerns about a number of these challenges, specifically the adequacy of the calorie maximum, the cost of the new requirements, and increased food waste in cafeterias. Many schools are concerned the requirements limit their flexibility and make it more difficult to adapt their menus to meet the preferences and needs of their students and school communities.    

The members ask GAO to examine the challenges school officials face in their efforts to comply with the new standards, how mandatory price increases have affected the program, and what steps the Department of Agriculture has taken to help schools implement the requirements.

To read the letter, click here.

NOTE: Chairman Kline and Representatives Noem and Roe also recently sent a letter to Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking USDA to provide more details about the implementation of the requirements and disclose any future studies to evaluate their effect on food waste and student nutrition.

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