USDA to Provide Additional Funds for School Meals

WASHINGTON – Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon has announced increased support for schools across the Nation as they implement healthier and more nutritious school meal standards for America’s kids. Schools will be reimbursed an additional 6 cents for each lunch they serve in accordance with the new standards– the first increase beyond inflation in over 30 years.

“Hungry and undernourished children simply can’t be the students they were intended to be,” said Concannon. “The ambitious new meal standards, especially those for school lunch, will provide millions of healthy meals each and every day and that is why USDA is providing these important additional financial resources to help schools raise the bar for our kids.”

The increased reimbursement, a significant investment in improving the quality of school meals, will be provided to school districts once they have made any changes needed to their menus to meet the new standards announced by USDA on January 25, 2012. Funding will begin flowing to schools across the country this year.

School meal programs are a partnership between USDA, State agencies and local schools, and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 recognized that ensuring adequate resources for schools was essential to make meal improvements a reality in schools across the nation. The Act includes five major components that work together to give schools and communities new tools to meet the challenge of providing healthier meals:

  • Updated nutrition standards for school lunches and breakfasts, based on expert recommendations from the Institute of Medicine;
  • Increased funding for schools – the first real increase in 30 years – tied to strong performance in serving improved meals;
  • Common-sense standards for the revenue provided to school food authorities from non-Federal sources, to ensure that these revenues keep pace with the Federal commitment to healthy school meals and properly align with costs;
  • Science-based standards for all foods sold in school, the first ever, national standards to ensure that foods and beverages sold in vending machines and other venues on school campuses also contribute to a healthy diet; and
  • Training and technical assistance to help schools achieve and monitor compliance.

USDA plans to continue to work with schools and communities to help improve meals so they are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This latest action represents, for the first time in 15 years, a critical investments that will upgrade the standards for school meals.

Comments

  1. Thank You says:

    Thank you President Obama!

  2. Roscoe Evans says:

    They’ve got to eat well to learn and grow right. The government (federal and state) have been involved in these programs for decades, though as much to help out America’s farmers as to help out its kids.

    Another legitimate and productive function of government, for all of you anti- Big Bad Government types to whine about, I’d suppose. But it’s about time that there’s an increase in funding: anybody who doubts the importance of these programs ought to visit any local school, and verify for yourself that they are a necessity.

    • Another View says:

      The government does not exist to feed your children. Parents are supposed to feed their children.

      What’s next? Government mandated bedtimes, supervised exercise? How about government monitoring of appropriate reading and television viewing? What other function is so vital that government must do it, because parents cannot?

      • valerie says:

        Uh. I don’t know about you – but I pay for my son to eat lunch at school when he chooses not to pack. The government does not pay to feed my child. The government does, however, regulate the food options that are available for my son to purchase.

        • jennifer says:

          indeed they do but not so well. their regulations are based on medical fads and pork barrel politics.

      • J Gibson says:

        Those programs are there because it was determined that far too many kids came to school hungry or undernourished due to (A) lack of parental “do-the-right-thing-ness” at home, (B) poverty and thus a lack of access to healthy food, and (C) an interest in seeing that all children have at least a common minimum standard.

        Is it the government’s job? Perhaps, perhaps not. However, in order to “promote the general welfare,” perhaps it takes the government to step in and take action and not wait for parents to get off their cans and do their jobs.

        Honestly…have you not seen “I’m Just a Bill”? Someone comes up with the idea that children need healthy school lunches, often because it’s the only meal they may get per day, and contacts a lawmaker, who crafts a bill, and it goes through Congress. Or, the idea gets acted on by the USDA. It’s not about some “nanny state.” It’s about ensuring that kids have access to something healthy to eat. Now, is it a perfect system? Yeah, right…as some snark said earlier on a different thread, it’s a government program so it’s gotta be messed up. That’s because humans, and lobbyists, and others make it as much a political football as anything else. Still…it doesn’t change the fact that the initial goal was a good one – provide school children a decent meal, to help them get the nutrients to grow and think and learn.

        • Another View says:

          “Honestly . . . have you not [read the U.S. Constitution]”? Because if you have, you will recall that the federal government has no power over school lunches or education. It is not within the federal government’s ken.

          And while you may be right that some parents fail to do their job in caring for their children, that does not give the government default authority to step in and remedy the situation. Frankly government makes it far too easy for bad and lazy parents to neglect their children, relying instead on government. Don’t have time to read to your child? Head Start. Don’t have time to feed your children? Public school nutrition programs. Don’t have a job? Unemployment, general welfare, food stamps, public housing, ADC, etc, etc. It never ends, as there is always a government program–paid for by others who are responsible–to bail out the irresponsible and the lazy.

          If you cannot care for your child, do not have children. But do not foist it upon the government to do your job. And we need to quit making excuses for those who fail to take care of themselves and their families, and force them to do so. We need to reform our nanny state, and quit giving to the takers.

          • Fly on the wall says:

            Wrong, AV…I believe that would fall under the “promote the general welfare” standard in the Preamble, which is backed up by the “necessary and proper” clause found in Article I, Section 8. BUt, then again, you don’t care much for those provisos, and would sadistically see the Darwin rule applied to our society.

            “He that does not work, neither shall he eat” – Capt. John Smith’s exhortation of those lazy gold-seekers @ Jamestown 405 years ago – worked as a scathing goad back then when there were only 110 or so able-bodied men in that triangular fort. To apply such a thing now, and glibly say “If you can’t take care of a child, don’t have one,” makes you look about as ridiculous as when Pat Boone put on black leather wrist bands and went “heavy metal” a decade ago.

          • Another View says:

            I am not wrong. The general welfare clause does not empower Congress to do anything it deems necessary for the “general welfare”. Rather, the general welfare clause is qualified and defined by the enumeration of powers set forth immediately thereafter in Article I, Section 8. These are the powers the Congress possesses to promote the “general welfare”, and no other.

            Moreover, the Constitution was amended immediately by the Bill of Rights, which contains Amendment 10. Amendment 10 makes it clear that if a power is not specifically set forth in the Constitution, it is denied to the federal government.

            Finally, if one is unable to discern the Constitution’s plain meaning from its language, one can to to the Federalist Papers, which again make it clear that the federal government is a limited grant of authority, whose powers are enumerated in Article I, Section 8.

            The Founders never intended the federal government to redistribute wealth, provide school lunches, public housing, become involved in education, set fuel standards, tell the people what toilets they might purchase, or protect endangered species. If any of these or other items are proper government functions (a matter which I would dispute), they are for the various state governments to engage, depending upon their own constitutions.

            I am right.

          • Liberals and others that like to spend money with no concern apply the “Promote the General Welfare” standard to everything. Notice though, it says “promote the general welfare” whereas in the area of defense (One of the very few things the Constitution mandates the government to do) is says “Provide” for the common defense. Now, if the Constitution said “Provide for all illegal aliens” or “Provide” for all school children, then I could see spending like we do today. But it doesn’t.

            These ideas were good at one point in time, when we could afford them and weren’t spending over 100% of our GDP, like Obama is doing. I believe it was either FDR or Truman that started the school lunch program because most of the guys that fought in WWII were poor, skinny country boys when they came into the military. Most kids nowadays that live in “poor” households have families that have cars, cellphones and TV’s. It rare in this country now that there are families that are as poor as families were in the 30’s and 40’s.

            But as it is, we as a country are coming to a point where we need to do some serious assessing of what we want to spend money on and are probably going to have to ask the question “When did we allow the government to believe it has a responsiblity to take care of everyone?”

    • Wrong Roscoe…not a legitimate function of government. The federal gov has no constitutional authority to steal my money and feed other people.

      How about personal responsibility…or better yet…since you are so willing to give money to pay for lunch how about you buy my breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next year? Following your logic, how can you say no…it’s absolutely a necessity for me to eat.

      • Exactly. Wonder what ever happened to the novel concept of PARENTS ensuring their kids have something to eat at school?

        Instead, now we have the Michelle Obama telling us what to feed kids and government nannies at schools enforcing it.

        http://www.examiner.com/article/girl-s-homemade-lunch-thrown-out-by-government-worker-due-to-usda-regulations

      • Another View says:

        The problem is we are becoming a society of takers. Indeed, almost 50% of the voting age population receives more from the government than they pay in in taxes. This is unsustainable. And what happens when this segment becomes a majority? They vote for more and more benefits to be paid to them by society’s producers? What will they do when society’s producers stop producing? Starve to death?

        • At that point my friend, we’re screwed. Four more years of Obama will probably tip the scale

  3. jennifer says:

    just a couple of months ago the feds were trying to pawn off the floor scraps from the beef rendering plants on our kids until the media informed us. Healthy meals are definitely important for our children, but unfortunately the feds definition of healthy and acceptable is based on more than the standards of physicians and nutritionists. If you don’t believe me, have lunch in a school cafeteria.

  4. Roscoe Evans says:

    Sorry gents, but your personal opinions about issues of constitutional authority are, of course, irrelevant to the real world and from my perspective, simply inane. These feed –the- kids programs grew out of federal agriculture programs. What do you propose to do with surplus farm produce, much of which, after all, is the result of programs that were intended to subsidize our nation’s farmers, to keep them in business, to feed our populace cheaply, and to sell the extra bounty overseas for profit and for foreign aid? Or, do you truly think all that surplus food should be just dumped in the face of hungry children, just to prove your petty philosophical points?

    I’m sure you know that these matters (the authority of Congress to regulate farm markets and their surpluses), are well settled by controlling legal authority, and have been for nearly 70 years. Your side lost, over and over and over again; and I really don’t see the likelihood that your pinched political perspectives on federal and state legal authority are going to prevail in a 21st century world.

    Now, if you need some help dirk, give me a call. I’ll buy you breakfast, lunch and dinner, if you’re really that desperate, and if you are able bodied, I’ll hire you, too. I already donate food, books, and clothing for local kids, and I’ll be pleased to help you out, too. But in our society, you don’t get to designate your taxes just for those very few programs that you like personally, and it frankly sickens me to see adults like you whine about where “their” tax money goes. You don’t pay enough for it to matter, and you’ll have to stop whining if you want my help.

    AV- Government exists to protect its constituencies, not to give you something to rail against. Twice now, I’ve seen you advocate the violent overthrow of a second, democratically elected, Obama Administration. That’s sedition, and you don’t deserve a platform for that sort of nonsense. I don’t engage you for that reason, and won’t again.

    Sarge- I’ve read your screeds, too. You, too, hate President Obama, “socialism,” and apparently everybody and everything you consider un-American. Good for you. I don’t care.

    So there you have it, gents. You don’t like my opinion, and I don’t like yours. Mine, however, already has prevailed, and I expect that it will endure.

    • Another View says:

      History did not begin in 1933, and the Founders were not New Dealers. That there have been unconstitutional governmental actions since then does not serve to legitimize those actions.

      I have never advocated the violent overthrow of any government. I do note, however, that it is an option to be used if no other suitable option exists. That this is so is also recognized by the Founders; the real Founders, Jefferson, Washington, Madison and Adams–NOT FDR.

      Indeed, our own country was founded due to the violent overthrow of the British government. Would you have us return ourselves to England, given your views? Do tell!

      Your view, and the view of all socialists, collectivists, communists and fascists are doomed to fail, as mankind’s yearning for freedom cannot be extinguished. Expect the first brick to fall this summer when the Supreme Court strikes down socialized medicine, aka “Obamacare”.

    • Roscoe..Government has caused most of the problems we have and the only way to solve the problems is to restore government to it’s prescribed and legally constituted position. The issue is not that “I don’t like” your opinion, you’re just wrong!

      It’s unfortunate folks like yourself are ok with a government that violates the very contract that formed the rules in which the government must operate. You talk about sedition, your buddy obama took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution…should he not be impeached for violation of his oath?

      Lastly…again you are incorrect…government does not exist to “protect its constituencies”. The US Government was created to protect the liberty of individual citizens to pursue their own happiness while not infringing upon the liberties of others.

      • Fly on the wall says:

        Ummm…those “individual citizens” really ARE the “constituencies” of the US government. That flaw alone icebergs your Titannic of an argument.

    • Did you ever think that you’re way of thinking, and acceptance of everything that comes with it, is part of the reason we’re in the jam that we’re in?

  5. Roscoe Evans says:

    I don’t care about your opinions on “government,” dirk. I’m talking about one issue here.

    On this issue, there are only two factors that matter to me. 1) There are malnourished and starving children in our schools and 2) Federal and state governments have the legal authority to address this issue, consistent with congressional, legislative, and executive decionmaking, and unanimous supporting judicial opinions going back decades. Ergo, my personal opinion is “right” because it is consistent with all controlling legal authority.

    If you disagree so strongly, though dirk, feel free to stroll down to D.G. Cooley or some other local school and shut down the cafetria, then take your case right up to the U.S. Supreme Court, and tell them how wrong they are.

    As far as my remark about sedition goes, it was not directed to you, but to the guy who twice now (that I know of) has advocated it. Since you don’t specify any conduct by President Obama that constitutes sedition, I’ll chalk that up to unnecessary hyperbole on your part.

    Your opinions include more errors than I thought possible in 3 paragraphs, but I’ll just point out this to you: our Constitution and our governments protect the liberties (rights) of non-citizens, too. Shocking, no? Plus, the protection of all those rights costs us taxpayers money, big time.

    Let me know when you want lunch, dirk. I’ll serve something good, and save the library paste and paper towels to feed that to needy schoolkids.

    Sarge: Before you start, too, I Don’t Care.

    • Another View says:

      If the children are hungry, it is the parents’ fault. If the children are hungry, it is the parents’ responsibility to feed them. And if the parents cannot feed them, perhaps some charity will aid them. And if that is insufficient, perhaps the children would be better off without their parents.

      BUT IT IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF GOVERNMENT AT ANY LEVEL TO FEED PEOPLE. That is not a governmental function. It is not in the Constitution, it is not legal, and it is immoral to act in such an ultra vires fashion. It should stop.

    • “our Constitution and our governments protect the liberties (rights) of non-citizens too”

      Incorrect.

    • Another View says:

      The protection of rights should cost very little. The military and the courts take up very little of the budget.

      No one has a “right” to taxpayers’ monies for their own subsistence. No one.

  6. Roscoe Evans says:

    I know it’s not in my job description to educate the ignorant, but I’ll say this, and stop:

    There are U.S. Supreme Court cases to back everything I say. If you choose to continue to read the comic book version of the U.S. Constitution only, and to ignore 200 years of case law, then you will remain ignorant, and wrong.

    Educate yourselves, please, and stop spreading ignorance and contempt. Your words are shameful.

    • I think you’ll find that non citizens and in some cases immigrants have “rights” under immigration law, not the Constitution. If they get involved in the legal system, they have the right to representations and such. But they do not have the same rights as Americans ie the right to bear arms, the right to vote,the right to run for political office etc.

      Maybe you should read up

  7. Another View says:

    First, the US Supreme Court is not the final word on the Constitution. Hate to break it to you.

    Second, the case law you claim support your position only goes back about 70 years.

    Third, the case law is of no importance, as it cannot supersede the Constitution’s plain language.

    Again, hate to break it to you.

  8. Got-A-Dollar says:

    Way to go Roscoe, you tell them!
    The Constitution like the Bible can be interpreted however fits an indivdual’s cause. The right to bear arms, when the Bill of Rights was written meant a muzzle loader not a AK47 or 10 shot 9mm with six clips on your hip. If the Bill of Rights was written today would it say you have the right to drive a car or fly an airplane?
    I feel sorry for One View(Another View) too bad we all can’t look down our noses at the unfortunate. I hope he turns his back on his socialists programs like social security and Medicare.
    Maybe It’s not the Government job to feed the poor but you can’t count on the crumbs you get from the rich.
    Not all poor people are poor by choice most just need a hand up.
    How many of the born rich could make it on their own? Not many I know.

  9. Another View says:

    Most–the vast majority–of the rich, earn it. That’s America.

    And both the Bible and the Constitution are easily discernible. It is only when you do not like the answers that you start to “interpret” these tomes. And that leads you astray.