Reps. Call For GAO Study On Lunch Standards

Some U.S. Reps. still unhappy with USDA changes in school lunch requirements

Published on: Nov 5, 2012

Reps. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., John Kline, R-Minn., and Phil Roe, R-Tenn., on Thursday requested an official Government Accountability Office investigation into the costs and compliance measures associated with the program.

In the request, the Congress members say the new requirements have raised concerns from state and local officials and parents about the "adequacy of the calorie maximum, the cost of the new requirements, and increased food waste in school cafeterias."

"In addition, new nutritional standards for the school breakfast program and competitive foods will take effect in the coming years, and school officials already are questioning the potential scope and consequences of these added changes," the letter said.

A few U.S. Reps. still unhappy with USDA changes in school lunch requirements
A few U.S. Reps. still unhappy with USDA changes in school lunch requirements

A GAO study will help determine the on-the-ground impacts of the new standards so Congress can determine the next steps on how to best address the challenges, Noem's office says.

Noem requested that the report address challenges that school and food service authorities have faced in implementing the new requirements, how the regulations have changed cost of lunch programs and what steps USDA has taken to assist schools in implementation.

The request follows an Oct. 18 letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack from the three Congress members, urging him to revisit the new school lunch standards implemented this August.

Noem's office says the USDA has not responded to the initial letter.

Final regulations for the school lunch changes, which represent the first change of the standards in 15 years, were released in January. Click here to read the final rule.