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Thune applauds USDA on promised school lunch changes


Sioux Falls, SD (KELO-AM) South Dakota Senator John Thune (R) on Friday hailed the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that it would enact changes to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program requirements. The decision follows demands from a group of senators including Thune regarding concerns about how the strict limits on calorie intake were impacting students.

 “I applaud USDA’s decision to heed our concerns and give schools additional flexibility in meeting the serving requirements for grains and meats,” said Thune. “Flexibility is needed to ensure schools continue to provide healthy meals and portions for students commensurate with varying activity levels. I will continue to work with USDA and our schools to ensure that administrators have the resources and authority to provide nutritional school meals for our students.”

 Following the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, school districts throughout South Dakota and around the country began sharing the implementation challenges resulting from USDA’s overly restrictive interpretation of the law regarding the caloric intake of grains, starches, and proteins. Schools expressed concerns that USDA’s “one-size-fits-all” approach to school lunches left students hungry and school districts frustrated with the additional expense, paperwork, and nutritional research necessary to meet excessive federal requirements.

South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R) had introduced legislation in the House to modify school lunch regulations away from the 'one-size-fits-all' standards.