The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Undersecretary was in Madison Wednesday to highlight new standards for school lunches taking effect this fall.
The new guidelines will require schools to serve more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Schools will only be allowed to serve fat free or low fat milk, and calories will be limited based on the age of a child.
Steve Youngbauer is the food and nutrition director for the Madison School District. He says the changes are what's best for students, but he says there are some concerns about the additional costs: “If the school district does meet the requirements next year, there is an opportunity for them to get an additional six cents of federal reimbursement to cover some of the costs of those program meal changes. There's a lot of discussion about 'will the six cents cover the additional costs for those items?' and, you know, time is certainly going to tell the truth on that one.”
Youngbauer says Madison will not raise its school lunch prices next year; other districts may have to, however. The new guidelines were part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act which was championed by First Lady Michelle Obama and signed into law by the President in late 2010.