First Lady to unveil new school lunch standards
by Josh Sosland
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack are set to unveil new nutrition standards for federally funded school lunches.
Ms. Obama and Mr. Vilsack, together with Kevin Concannon, Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumers Services, will make the announcement Jan. 25 at the Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Va.
The child nutrition reauthorization bill, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kid Act of 2010, was signed into law in December 2010. The law authorizes funding for federal school meal and child nutrition programs and is meant to increase access to healthy food for low-income children.
The 2010 law reauthorizes child nutrition programs for five years and includes $4.5 billion in new funding for these programs over 10 years. The U.S.D.A. said the law represented the first major change in school meals in over 15 years.
“The new standards make the same kinds of changes that many parents are already encouraging at home, including ensuring kids are offered fruits and vegetables every day of the week, substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods, offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties and making sure kids are getting proper portion sizes,” the U.S.D.A. said.