Two years ago the Federal government passed a law, the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, which requires all schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program to gradually increase hot lunch price to eventually align with free meal reimbursement (currently set at $2.72) over the next few years. The purpose of this legislation is to equalize the price of a paid hot lunch with the amount of money the Federal government reimburses districts for students who receive free and reduced lunches.
Hunger Free Kids Act also includes a new set of nutritional guidelines set by the USDA. We had touched upon some of these new guidelines in one of our last posts but just in case you missed it, here’s the scoop:
All Schools who participate in the National School Lunch Program, which includes all of our schools, must construct menus based on USDA recommended regular daily requirements for nutrition. School lunch programs are audited on a regular basis by the government for compliance. For the 2012-2013 school year, the Federal government has developed new nutritional guidelines that can be found in detail on the USDA website.
The targeted nutritional areas for these changes are a maximum amount of calories served, sodium amounts, an increase in vegetables and fruits, as well as new restrictions on grain consumption.