Vend for yourself: comments roll in on competitive school foods - The Packer

Vend for yourself: comments roll in on competitive school foods

04/10/2013 05:17:00 AM
Tom Karst

National Editor Tom KarstWith comments due April 9, more than 20,000 comments (and counting) have been received on website for the “National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs: Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School, as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.” Check out the docket here.

Find the United Fresh comment here

An excerpt:

United Fresh supports the following:

• USDA’s definitions for “competitive food,” “school day,” and “school campus”. The standards should apply to all snacks and beverages sold in schools, across the school campus, and throughout the school day.

• All foods sold in schools should provide students with a positive nutritional benefit, such as be a fruit, vegetable or whole grain, or naturally contain 10 percent of the Daily Value of a nutrient of public health concern and meet strong standards for calories, fats, sugars, and salt.

• The standards should apply to foods and beverages as they are packaged and sold to children.

• Calorie limits should be tiered to elementary schools, middle schools and high schools to reflect that elementary students require fewer calories per day than high school students.

• All foods sold in school cafeterias should meet the standards.

• State agencies and school districts have the authority to establish additional or stronger standards for competitive foods, as long as such standards are consistent with the minimum federal standards.

• State agencies can specify the frequency of fundraisers as long as they are infrequent and not allowed on school campus during school meal service.


From PMA’s comment


USDA stated in its proposal that implementation of nutrition standards for competitive foods will result in “potentially more expensive” mix of foods offered. We disagree with USDA’s position on this issue, at least as it relates to fruits and vegetables. PMA’s produce pricing research from October 2010, albeit conducted from a retail market basket perspective, showed that the DGA’s daily recommended nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables can be attained through prices ranging from 88 cents to $2.18. Though schools are not responsible for ensuring children get nine servings each day, the research shows that the idea that healthful eating has to be expensive is a myth.

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