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Implementing Healthy School Lunches Essay

3061 words - 13 pages

There needs to be some sort of regulation imposed on school lunches, in order to fight the growing obesity epidemic. Many people disagree with this statement, and have their own thoughts on the matter. The National School Lunch Act was passed in 1946 by President Harry Truman. All over the country, school districts joined lunch programs designed to feed children at free or reduced prices. In doing so, school districts had to follow specific guidelines that these programs required. Over the years, these standards have changed increasingly in order to provide children optimal nutrition. While many districts have fully taken advantage and successfully made the turn for the better, others struggle or are taking a little more time in implementing successful changes. Due to the inconsistencies amongst lunch programs in the United States, many point their fingers at the government. Not only did the National School Lunch Program provide lunch at free or reduced cost, it also provided enough food supply, maintenance and operation all over the country. It took a long time for the Act to pass because of the cost to run such a new program. Though it took a long time, Congress found the need to establish a lunch program with a set legislative foundation. Without such a foundation, school districts would be operating their own school lunch programs on a year to year basis. Some of the requirements and guidelines programs entailed not only meant feeding children at free or reduced cost, but also following minimum nutritional requirements, operate on a non-profit basis, and maintain proper records of all receipts and forward them to the State Agency.
Throughout the years, nutritional requirements have changed. The Hunger-Free Kids Act is an act passed in 2010 and signed by President Barack Obama. The woman behind this act is presidents Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama. Her voice has been loud in advocating healthier nutritional standards in order to fight childhood obesity. She campaigned Let’s Move which encouraged healthier foods and more physical activity in schools across all of the United States of America. The Hunger-Free Kids Act gives the USDA permission to make new guidelines for lunches, provides schools with resources to be affiliated with local farms where they will receive their produce, sets minimum standards, increases number of children eligible for meal programs, uses census data instead of paper applications to determine eligibility of students in high poverty areas, and puts strict monitoring into place in all districts.
Schools in high-poverty areas with most children in need of free or reduced lunch, tend to do well with these new regulations. However, schools will less kids eligible for free or reduced lunch do not do so well, and a lot of districts in this category have dropped the program. Theory is that schools with more children than not eligible for free or reduced lunch, are more likely to eat what is served to them. “Some of our...

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