Local reaction on relaxed requirements for school lunch program


The United States Department of Agriculture is relaxing restrictions for its school lunch program, citing difficulty for some schools to meet the requirements. The new rules include three major changes. 

Schools are no longer required to serve only whole grains. The new rule dictates that just half of the weekly grains served be whole-grain rich.

And low-fat chocolate milk is now back on the menu. Previously only fat-free milk could be flavored. 

Finally, schools will still have to reach targeted sodium levels set by the Obama Administration, but they now have more time. 

18 News Reporter Samantha Lantz asked local parents what they think: 

“We need to keep our children 100% healthy,” Phyllis Tine of Elmira said. 

“Our kids are our future and we should be doing what’s best for them and rolling things back like this I don’t feel is best for the children,” Amie Moag of Horseheads said. 

“Obesity levels are high and health levels are going down hill kind of so I think that just in general we need to be aware of what we’re putting into our system,” Nichole St. Pierre of Elmira said. 

Some argue that schools already have enough on their plates just trying to make sure children of less fortunate families get fed.

“It’s more important that we get our kids fed in school because there’s so many kids that aren’t being fed. We can’t hold the schools totally responsible, their parents have to teach them first at home. When they’re at home they’re going to eat differently so then they get two different messages and we want to make sure that they know that it’s all about health and not just about strict code,” Jeanne Dryden of Dryden said. 

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