By Theodore Walz
The nationwide university Lunch application served greater than 31 million kids in financial yr 2012, partially via $11.6 billion in federal helps. The fit, Hunger-Free childrens Act of 2010 required USDA to replace food criteria for lunches. USDA issued new specifications for lunch components—fruits, greens, grains, meats, and milk—and for energy, sodium, and fat in food. USDA oversees nation management of this system, and states oversee neighborhood SFAs, which supply this system in faculties. The alterations have been regularly required to be applied in class yr 2012-2013. This publication assesses lunch participation traits; demanding situations SFAs confronted imposing the alterations, if any; and USDA’s information with and oversight of the adjustments. It additionally discusses ameliorations had to be made to a few of the recent food criteria in class lunches. (Imprint: Nova)
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Additional resources for School Lunches: Analyses and Challenges of Implementing Nutrition Standards
In oral comments, the Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition Programs and other USDA officials generally agreed with our recommendations. These officials also noted that they consider the emphasis on technical assistance associated with school meals implementation in school year 2012-2013 appropriate given that the new meal patterns represented a major transition for local program operators. They also indicated their belief that the level of review associated with the 6-cent certification process, including detailed review of meal pattern documentation and on-site reviews of at least 25 percent of certified SFAs, provides a solid foundation for ongoing oversight of compliance moving forward.
Three of the SFAs we visited noted that because food orders for school year 2012-2013 were placed in the initial months of 2012—at the same time that guidance on the new requirements was being issued—they procured foods without knowing what was required. 54 Several SFA officials in districts we visited also mentioned that it was difficult to obtain from vendors School Lunch 27 certain food products that met the new requirements. For example, one SFA had difficulties obtaining the fresh produce it wanted to serve with lunches because of the increase in volume needed to comply with the new requirements.
To try to remedy storage challenges, one SFA we visited had developed plans to School Lunch 29 expand coolers and freezers on-site in schools, which was not an option in another SFA we visited due to facility and resource constraints. A third SFA’s plans to remodel the kitchen and serving lines in its largest school were put on hold because of the negative financial impact the SFA experienced in part because of the new lunch requirements. Overall, future costs were particularly concerning to some of the SFAs we visited.