Congresswoman Noem Introduces School Meals Legislation


Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD) has introduced HR 1504, The Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act. The bill would prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from enforcing maximum limits on calories, grains or meat/meat alternates; block implementation of Target 2 and Final Target sodium limits; and restore the 2012 requirement that half of all grains offered with school meals be whole grain rich. In addition, the bill would prohibit USDA from enforcing new school meal and Smart Snacks standards and Paid Lunch Equity mandates for any school food authority that certifies that complying with the new rules would increase costs.

SNA commends Rep. Noem for heeding the concerns of school nutrition professionals working hard to offer healthy meals for all students. SNA supports the grain and sodium flexibility offered through HR 1504, but does not endorse the bill as a whole. SNA strongly supports maintaining calorie limits for school meals and believes its 2015 Position Paper requests offer the best avenue for addressing increased costs under the new standards. 

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