No wonder the kids are hungry. According to the Golden Turkey Award recently bestowed on the Agriculture Department’s new school lunch standards by the House Republican Study Committee, last year’s 785 calorie minimum for a sixth grader has now been changed to a 700 calorie maximum. This explains the school lunch protests I discuss below. Some of the school lunch coverage I’ve seen attributes the student protests to a refusal to eat fruits and vegetables. But the calorie standards themselves have been shifted dramatically.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has introduced H.R. 6418, the No Hungry Kids Act. The legislation repeals the USDA rule that created the new standards, prohibits the USDA’s upper calorie limits, and protects the rights of parents to send their children to school with the food of their choice. Meanwhile, King is locked in a close contest for re-election with Christie Vilsack, the wife of Obama Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, who instituted the new school lunch rules.