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USDA Proposes New School Lunch Rule

USDA Proposes New School Lunch Rule

The newly proposed rule aims to reduce regulatory burdens, and the USDA believes it would help reduce food waste.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a new proposed rule that would provide local school food authorities additional flexibility in planning National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program meals.

The proposal, titled “Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs,” aims to reduce current regulatory burdens. According to a Food Business News report, flexibilities contained in the proposed rule include loosening certain meal requirements related to fruits and vegetables that the USDA asserted would reduce food waste.

Food Business News has more information:

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Jan. 17, during a round table discussion on school nutrition issues held in San Antonio, announced a new proposed rule that would provide local school food authorities additional flexibility in planning National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program meals. The proposed rule also would reduce regulatory burdens faced by those same bodies partly by extending administrative review cycles to five years from three. The proposed rule is titled Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Its publication in the Federal Register will mark the beginning of a 60-day public comment period.

“Schools and school districts continue to tell us that there is still too much food waste and that more commonsense flexibility is needed to provide students nutritious and appetizing meals,” Mr. Perdue said. “We listened and now we’re getting to work. Our proposed changes empower schools to give their very best to our children nationwide and have the potential to benefit nearly 100,000 schools and institutions that feed 30 million children each school day through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school meal programs.”

Read the full story here.

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