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Published January 03, 2014, 05:59 PM

USDA agrees to permanently modify national school lunch program requirements

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota and Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas today said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has agreed to enact permanent changes to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program requirements in response to demands by Hoeven and Pryor.

By: WDAZ Staff Reports, WDAZ

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota and Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas today said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has agreed to enact permanent changes to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program requirements in response to demands by Hoeven and Pryor.

In December 2012, USDA made temporary changes to the School Lunch Program in response to a letter led by Hoeven and Pryor and signed by other senators. Hoeven and Pryor then wrote legislation, which is likely to pass this month, to make the changes permanent. The senators’ legislation, the Sensible School Lunch Act, has broad, bipartisan support and the backing of the national School Nutrition Association. In response to their legislation, the USDA will now make the changes permanent administratively.

“Today, the USDA made the permanent changes we have been seeking to the School Lunch Program,” Hoeven said. “A one-size-fits-all approach to school lunch left students hungry and school districts frustrated with the additional expense, paperwork and nutritional research necessary to meet federal requirements. These are exactly the changes included in our Sensible School Lunch Act.”

“After hearing from educators, parents, and students, Senator Hoeven and I stepped in to help school districts who were frustrated with the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program’s strict new rules,” Pryor said. “I’m glad the USDA followed our lead and made these much-needed administrative changes that will give our school districts the permanent flexibility they need to keep our kids healthy and successful.”

Other senators who cosponsored the legislation include: Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Daniel Coats (R-Ind.), Angus King (I-Maine), Tom Udall (Dem. N.M.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

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