Modify the Healthy Hunger Free Act
We all have memories and attitudes about school lunches. Students across the country are speaking out about the lack of quality of their school lunches. Food Service directors are fighting a battle with two hands tied behind their backs. It is time for common sense to intervene and to modify the Healthy Hunger Free Act.
The spirt of the Act is good and it is hard to find an argument against healthy meals for the youngest of our population. We are aware of a decades old problem of child obesity and the life long impact it has on individuals and our society.
The issue schools face, and why we must modify the Healthy, Hunger-Free Act, is the very law is causing an opposite effect from the intent. As restrictions in sugars, salts, carbohydrates and portion sizes impact the taste and sizes of school lunches students are responding by not eating. In addition, school districts are required to meet Federal breakfast and lunch price minimums for students who are not on the Free and Reduced lunch program. Paying students are not buying school lunches. This leave school districts in a position of declining revenues within very tight budgets to begin with. School food service programs are facing consistent criticism and pressure to change menus as well as reducing budgets. The response is to reduce staff and buy cheaper food products.
Changes must happen to meet in the middle to modify the hunger health free act. The developmental and learned eating patters of our students do not work with the requirements of the act. We must recognize the role school lunches play in a child’s nutrition while at the same time mount a national campaign to change eating patterns and increase parental education programs.