Chef Tom Colicchio has been trying to get Congress to pass more funding for school lunch programs and children’s nutrition since 2010, the estimated cost of which would be $8 billion. Instead, on July 16, Congress drafted a $20.5 billion measure that would allow states to waive some nutrition rules, particularly those related to whole grains.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved this draft, which permits some districts to opt out of using whole grains in school lunches if they cost too much or are too difficult to use. This measure would also block a full implementation of regulations around lowered sodium in lunches.
Bloomberg reported that when Colicchio appeared in Congress in 2010 to lobby for healthier school lunches, he said: “I hear people say, ‘We would like to improve the school lunch program, but the kids, all they want to do is eat pizzas and burgers. We are adults here. It is up to us to do better.”