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January 22, 2020
Trump Administration Proposal Means Less Healthy School Meals

Project Bread opposes the Trump Administration's recent proposal to roll back healthy nutrition guidlines for school meals.

Project Bread strongly opposes any policy that will reduce children’s access to the healthy food that they need to learn and thrive. The Trump Administration’s recent proposal to roll back the 2010 Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act’s nutrition guidelines for school meals will result in less nutritious school breakfast and lunch options for students across Massachusetts. This is particularly concerning because we know that many low-income children in our state receive over half of their daily calories from school meals.

While the administration claims that the proposed changes are necessary to simplify school meals and reduce waste, a 2014 study by Project Bread, Harvard School of Public Health, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School concluded that the current USDA guidelines had a positive effect on both consumption and overall diet quality of the meals served at schools . 

Project Bread has more than twenty years of experience working to boost participation, quality, and health of school meals as a strategy to end childhood hunger. In partnership with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), through our Child Nutrition Outreach Program (CNOP), we provide technical assistance to schools throughout the state to increase participation in both school breakfast and summer meals. We also focus on improving the quality of school meals, by bringing chefs into school cafeterias to develop healthy recipes with food service workers that kids will eat through our Chefs in Schools Program. 

Our on-the-ground experience demonstrates that any efforts around school meals should focus not on weakening the existing standards, but on supporting the proven programs that provide students with the nutrition they need. 

Author(s): Project Bread

Filed under: Informing Public Policy, News and Events, Children and Schools