A Student Letter About School Lunches In The News

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From Your Health Journal…..”A great article from the NewsTimes about a Kansas student who took a government class assignment to a new level. The student wrote a letter which got in the hands of US Senator Pat Roberts, who shared it with others in the Senate. The students letter criticized the effects of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new rules about calorie counts in school lunches. Funny thing, the student did not need to extra credit, but wanted to just express an opinion. Many times on this blog, we have discussed this issue, as many students have complained about not getting enough to eat under the new USDA guidelines. But the rules were recently tweaked to allow schools to use as many grains and as much meat as they want, though the broader calorie limits are still in place. Many critics had told the USDA that grains shouldn’t be limited because they were part of so many meals, and it would be difficult to always find the right size of meat. Please visit the NewsTimes (link provided below) web site to view the complete article. I always enjoy articles from this site, and I think you will too!”

From the article…..

A Kansas high school student’s extra-credit assignment in a government class was meant as an exercise in expressing her views on a hot topic. But it helped sway some opinions in Congress.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts said he received a letter from Lindsey Heward criticizing the effects of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new rules about calorie counts in school lunches. Roberts, the No. 2 Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, said he shared her concerns with fellow lawmakers and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“I didn’t need the extra credit. I was just expressing my opinion,” said Heward, a senior at Osage City High School.

Heward wrote Roberts that students were complaining about not getting enough to eat and not liking the choices of food. She wrote that the USDA could do more to fight obesity by encouraging family meals, helping people plan a food budget or changing lifestyles instead of pinching calories.

Roberts spoke to Heward and her classmates Tuesday at Osage City, and he encouraged them to participate in government in some manner and not be afraid to speak up. He said Heward’s letter was among a raft of criticism that forced the USDA to relax the guidelines.

Roberts said local school districts should be allowed the flexibility to run the lunch program without burdensome regulations. He added that 719 calories a meal wasn’t enough for the average high school student to consume.

“It’s ridiculous. You don’t do that at the USDA cafeteria, I can assure you,” Roberts told students.

To read the full article…..Click here