- Posted by Admin
- On November 28, 2017
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- Ag Secretary, House, President's Budget, school lunches, Senate, Sonny Perdue, USDA, USDA Budget
By Megan Edison, Miami University Ohio
The school cafeteria has changed a lot throughout the years. Schools are required to meet the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) nutrient standards and school meals are comprised of fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, and lean meats. During the school day students are encouraged to eat healthy and choose healthy nutrient dense foods. This is especially important when it comes to feeding children in low-income communities that don’t have the same level of food security as others and may rely on school provided food for the bulk of their meals.
Each year the President proposes a budget for government spending that is taken under consideration when developing the budget for each department. With a new Administration, it is likely to see policy and budget changes. The Trump administration proposed to cut USDA funding by $4.7 billion, which is 21 percent of the USDA’s discretionary spending (Lapan, 2017). However, the House and the Senate Appropriations Committees both approved separate agriculture spending bills that will allocate more spending to the USDA than the President’s proposed budget (U.S. House of Representatives, 2017) (U.S. Senate, 2017).
The new Administration also proposed policy changes for the USDA and school nutrition programs. Sonny Perdue, the newly appointed Agriculture Secretary, announced changes to school lunches including a delay of the target II sodium reduction requirement for three years, permitting occasional non-whole grain rich products, and allowing schools to serve 1% flavored milk (USDA, 2017). Every four to eight years government agencies like the USDA face changes with each new administration. These new budgets and policies certainly affect how programs are run and how money within the USDA is distributed, which can bring both challenges and opportunities.
Lapan, T. (2017, Aug. 7). Trump’s Proposed After-School Cuts Could Lead to More Hungry Kids. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trumps-proposed-after-school-cuts-could-lead-to-more_us_59887d12e4b0f2c7d93f5769
USDA. (2017,May.1). Ag Secretary Perdue Moves to Make School Meals Great Again. Retrieved from: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2017/05/01/ag-secretary-perdue-moves-make-school-meals-great-again
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations (2017, July 12) Appropriations Committee Approves the Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Retrieved From: https://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394985
U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations (2017. July 20) FY2018 Agriculture Appropriations Bill Gains Committee Approval. Retrieved From: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/majority/fy2018-agriculture-appropriations-bill-gains-committee-approval