Strict School Nutrition Guidelines Subject of Thompson Forum

Aug 24, 2015 Issues: Education

Pleasant Gap, PA – Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05), a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, today joined with school district and nonprofit officials, parents and representatives from nutrition firms, in discussing federal school nutrition guidelines.  In particular, the event was focused on the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which created new stringent standards for these programs.  The forum was also an opportunity for stakeholders to weigh in on the possible reauthorization of the law, which is set to expire on Sept. 30.

“Schools across Pennsylvania, and the nation, have voiced their concern since the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act took effect,” Thompson said.  “We heard today that new guidelines are causing students to pack their lunch, or even buy lunch at nearby convenience stores.  It is so important to hear directly from our schools on what is working with this law and what needs to change.”

Among the issues discussed at the forum was the decline in school lunch program participation across the nation since the implementation of the law, the difficulty for school nutritionists to implement the guidelines and the increased cost to taxpayers to implement the law.  A decline in milk consumption in schools was also detailed at the forum.

“Very few beverages have the same nutritional value as milk,” Thompson, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, added.  “That is why I have sponsored to a bipartisan bill which reaffirms the requirement that milk is offered with every meal.  We need to make sure children are getting the nutrition they need to grow and stay healthy.”

Thompson is also a co-sponsor of the School Food Modernization Act, which will allow schools to participate in a loan assistance program through the United States Department of Agriculture to be used to buy new kitchen equipment, provide assistance to school administrators and food service directors, and strengthen training and technical assistance to school food service personnel.