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National School Lunch Program

ABC strikes back by churning up BPI’s earlier history

Meat packer has heavy burden of proof in $1.9 billion defamation case against network

ELK POINT, SD — It would probably not be accurate to say Professor Mindy Brashears speaks with a Texas twang or that ABC’s attorney Dane Butswinkas has a Richmond dialect, but the difficulty the two have understanding each other slowed proceedings on the fourth day of the $1.9 billion civil defamation trial against the network…. Continue Reading

Legislation to revise school lunch program passes House committee

Controversial federal legislation to limit funding for subsidized school lunches and change some of the program’s nutritional standards passed a House committee on a 20-14 vote May 18, and the proposal is being hammered by critics who believe it would endanger the health of American school children. The bill’s sponsor, U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), said that his… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Agriculture’s Most Popular Man

Opinion

I spent a couple of hours last week watching Thomas James (Tom) Vilsack wrap the House Education and Workforce Committee around his little finger. It came on his 2,338th day as United States Secretary of Agriculture. He is the boss of 85,000 USDA employees. Those who promote the narratives for such events said the Secretary… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: It’s All About the Money, Fruit Cup

Opinion

When it comes to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the partisan brouhaha has been about the menu. Later this year, however, Congress will reauthorize the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, mostly by agreeing to pick up the check. The outline of just such an ending became clear this week when the… Continue Reading

Ground Beef in School Lunches Meets Stricter Microbial Standards

According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report published last week, the ground beef supplied to school lunches contains “significantly less” Salmonella contamination than products sold on the commercial market. USDA’s Economic Research Service examined the impact of food-safety standards imposed by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on suppliers of ground beef to the National… Continue Reading

Spending Bill Bans ‘Chinese Chicken’ From Federal Meal Programs

A provision included in the $1.1-trillion spending bill Congress passed last week and which is now headed to the president’s desk prevents poultry processed in China from being used in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program (Section 736 of Division A). Four Chinese poultry-processing plants have… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: The ‘New’ School Lunch

Opinion

For anyone who still gets the printed version of The New York Times, the pretty magazine among all those advertising inserts is worth a read today. It contains a smartly illustrated story entitled, “How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground,” by Nicholas Confessore. It can also be found online here. Confessore, who was part of… Continue Reading

School Waivers From New Nutrition Standards Could Become Bridge to 2015

New language offered by the House Appropriations Committee would allow schools than can demonstrate economic hardship to obtain a temporary waiver from new nutrition standards for the upcoming 2014-15 school year. In 2015, the standards might undergo revisions. Language released Monday by the committee said the waiver language was included at the request of local… Continue Reading

Meat Recalls + Slaughter Plant Shutdowns = Supplier for the National School Lunch Program?

Opinion

When you think about the food being served in school cafeterias nationwide, do the words meat recall, animal abuse, unsanitary conditions and slaughter plant shutdowns come to mind? Perhaps they should. A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture temporarily shut the doors of Central Valley Meat (CVM), a dairy cow slaughter plant in… Continue Reading

School Lunch ‘Shrinkage’ Aside, USDA Food and Nutrition Spending Will Grow in 2015

At least 1.6 million students who previously paid for their own lunches at National School Lunch Program cafeterias have dropped out because they don’t like the new menus or the associated price increases, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) says in a new report. In that report, GAO documents some significant shrinkage in the school… Continue Reading