Michelle Obama will have a hard time swallowing this:
Beginning next summer, the former first lady’s bizarre and odious school lunch standards will be relaxed, with the kid-friendly chocolate milk returning to the menu.
In addition to relaxing rules on whole grain requirements and sodium limits, the Trump Administration will “sunset” other provisions of the rules that schools have had a hard time meeting.
Since the requirements went into effect several years ago, schools have had a difficult time meeting the standards without providing inedible meals that students would end up throwing away.
But the Department of Agriculture said those rules will be eased and the program – designed to make sure kids are eating healthy – will have most of those provisions “sunsetted” on July 2018.
While Republicans have long been trying to dial back the standards that were a pillar of Michelle Obama’s “Healthy Kids” program, it was a bipartisan issue as far back as last spring.
The problem is that as the food got “healthier,” fewer and fewer students were actually eating it, meaning they went hungry.
The American Heart Association was quick to push back. In a statement, the group’s CEO, Nancy Brown, said the current standards are already working and that 99 percent of schools are in compliance.
“Improving children’s health should be a top priority for the USDA, and serving more nutritious foods in schools is a clear-cut way to accomplish this goal,” she said.
“Rather than altering the current path forward, we hope the agency focuses more on providing technical assistance that can help schools get across the finish line, if they haven’t done so already.”
Already, many schools have opted out of the program, deciding to forego the federal funds for the inedible lunches and go on their own, ignoring the standards.
Students were infuriated by the standards, and started tweeting out examples of their lunches with the hashtag “#ThanksMichelleObama.”
— Maya (@mayawuertz) November 17, 2014
Funding for school lunches will still continue to flow – and it’s expensive. In 2012, the program cost the federal government $11.6 billion. They provide free and reduced-cost meals to schoolchildren around the country. Some schools provide free breakfast and lunch to every child, regardless of their income, if they live in an area where the poverty level is high enough.
Advocates claim that Michelle Obama’s standards have brought down the obesity rate, but many say it’s simply because nobody wants to eat the food.
When Trump announced he was considering dropping the requirements, the former first lady reacted angrily.
She said something was “wrong” with an administration not willing to give consumers – especially children – nutrition information or advice on eating healthier, Fox News reports.
“You have to stop and think, ‘Why don’t you want our kids to have good food at school? What is wrong with you?’ And why is that a partisan issue?” Obama said. “Moms, think about this: I don’t care what state you live in, take me out of the equation ― like me, don’t like me ― but think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap.”