School input on lunch regulations requested as Congress finalizes farm bill

Recently, the U.S. House passed its version of the federal farm bill, including an amendment requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to review the Obama-era federal regulations that set nutrition standards and issue new regulations for school lunch and breakfast programs that will provide greater flexibility to school districts.

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is working to ensure the school nutrition amendment is included in the final version of the farm bill. If your district has specific examples of how the current school nutrition regulations are negatively affecting your  school meal programs or student participation, please send them to Dan Rossmiller or Chris Kulow and we will forward this information to the NSBA to use to advocate for the inclusion of the amendment in the final version of the bill.

The U.S. Senate has passed its own version of the farm bill that does not include this school nutrition amendment.  A conference committee will likely be convened to iron out the differences between the two houses and produce final language of the farm bill.

The school nutrition amendment requires the Secretary of Agriculture to review the federal regulations that set nutrition standards for school lunches, breakfasts and all food sold in schools – regulations that stem from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  The amendment further directs the Secretary to issue new regulations for these programs that will provide greater flexibility to school districts to serve food students want to eat without added unfunded mandates. School boards are among the list of school leaders with whom the Secretary of Agriculture must consult when considering the new regulations. (Note: The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers school lunch and breakfast programs.)