A new infographic prepared by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows bipartisan support from parents for the continuation of school meal standards that require more fresh fruits and vegetables.
The data comes as Congress debates the reauthorization of the Childhood Nutrition Act, which comes up every five years. With the shift to Republican control in both chambers, foundation officials and others who support the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act fear the 2015 version of the Act will reduce fresh produce requirements.
Opponents say the requirements are too expensive for many schools, causing low compliance rates. Other arguments against the nutrition standards cite children throwing away food and a declining number of students buying school meals.
The foundation, established by the late Johnson & Johnson CEO Robert Wood Johnson, cites statistics that rebut those arguments.
Most schools — more than 95% — are complying with the nutrition standards in the 2010 legislation, according to the foundation’s most recent information released July 7.
More students are eating more of their school meals and opting to take fruit with their lunches, according to the Princeton, N.J.-based foundation.
The current school meal legislation expires Sept. 30.