During her eight years as first lady, Michelle Obama invested an immense amount of energy into her Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which ultimately became law in 2010. She hoped to combat childhood obesity through her school lunch program and her “Let’s Move!” campaign.
The USDA introduced these five standards for “practical” change in public school lunches:
- Ensuring students are offered both 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;
- Limiting calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size; and
- Increasing the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium
The program sounds good in theory, but the food was simply being rejected by students. It didn’t take long for school nutritionists to call for a roll back on the strict sodium and whole grain rule, but the law remained in place. Now lobbyists are working to reverse the massive school food agenda altogether, in the hopes of getting kids to eat more food and waste less money.
“The federal government involving itself in what is served in school lunches in the epitome of government overreach,” Head of the House Freedom Caucus Rep. Mark Meadows commented. “Districts that have chosen to opt out have been able to provide more options to students and better-quality services.”