Michelle Obama’s School Lunch Program Now Targets “Unlawful Bake Sales”

Michelle Obama’s “Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act” has jumped from the school lunchroom to extracurricular fundraising.  This move leaves many school sports teams, groups and clubs short on cash and short on options to raise funds.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
From National Review:

The nutrition standards, which cover schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program, do not just determine which foods can be served for lunch in the cafeteria. As of July 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Smart Snacks standard  will also determine nutritional standards for all foods and beverages sold during the school day in vending machines and even student bake sales or fundraisers.

Snacks must contain 200 calories, of which no more than 35 percent can come from fat or sugar. Sodium is capped at 230 milligrams. Student groups hoping to fund raise by selling cupcakes will now have to try to convince their fellow classmates to spend their money on fruit cups and granola bars.

The regulations leave some discretion up to the states, which decide how many daytime fundraisers per year can be exempted from the nutrition standards, but the guidelines encourage states to keep these unlawful bake sales “infrequent.”

So how long before your local Girl Scout cookie sale gets SWATTED?

School Board President Rips Michelle O Over Lunch Program: She was ‘Elected by No One’

michelle-obama-the-side-eye
(eagnews.org)

There’s growing heartburn over federal school lunch regulations and now school board members are lashing out at First Lady Michelle Obama, the champion of the program overhaul.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

“We believe that proper food nutrition and meal portion guidelines are best decided at a local level,” said Rick Petfalski, School Board president for the Muskego-Norway School District.

Opting out of the program means Muskego-Norway will no longer receive federal money for its meals, but it also means the district is free to serve whatever it wants.

Already losing money because fewer kids were buying the meals, the district will now have to cover the cost of free and reduced lunches on its own. It will do this partly by spending less on foods that students don’t eat and — they believe — increasing the number of kids buying lunches by providing tastier meals.

Under the school lunch program regulations, Petfalski said, the district’s food service was projected to be headed toward a $54,000 deficit. By opting out — and presumably selling more food — he expects about a $7,100 surplus.

“By leaving the program we will not be required to follow these onerous guidelines, pushed by and large by Michelle Obama, who last I checked has been elected by no one,” Petfalski said. (emphasis added)

The great irony is that Petfalski’s district will actually net more money by turning down the federal reimbursements.

Meanwhile, Waterford Graded superintendent Christopher Joch told the paper, “There was a lot of waste.”

He added, “The food ended up in the garbage instead of the kids’ mouths.”

The chorus of complaints is only likely to increase as the feds up their regulations by cutting sugary and fatty snacks, effective July 1.

At least one district – the Edmonds School District in Washington – has banned cupcakes for birthday celebrations.

Democrat Lawmaker Announces Plan to Tax Sugary Sodas

Get ready to pay a special “sugar tax” on your favorite soft drinks, America.

In an address to attendees of the Soda Summit 2014, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro announced yesterday she was preparing legislation “to tax sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas in a way that reflects the serious damage they are doing to our health.”

The Democrat lawmaker cited sugar as a major contributor to “the obesity and diabetes epidemics afflicting our country,” and alleged that the poor suffer the most from America’s easy-sugar ways.

“Added sugar is pervasive and almost inescapable at the supermarket,” DeLauro said. “And of course, many times it is the sugary foods and drinks that are easiest for families living on the edge of poverty to afford. When a 2-liter of cola is 99 cents and blueberries are over three dollars, something has gone very wrong.”

The 12-term congresswoman expects her sugar tax bill will be introduced “in a matter of weeks.”

While DeLauro’s bill likely stands no chance of passing the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, it gives Americans a hint of what the future holds now that the federal government has become so actively involved in the nation’s health care system.

Through Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare-related health insurance subsidies, the feds have a vested financial interest in keeping you healthy – and that means regulating what you eat and drink.
[Read more…]

Bottom Line: Michelle Obama Is Not An Elected Official – So Why Does She Get to Push Her School Lunch Policies on Congress?

Michelle eating
(Cnsnews.com)

First Lady Michelle Obama wants public schools to quit complaining about her new “healthier” lunch standards, and to stick to the program that has left students starving and schools losing money since it was implemented in 2010.

Mrs. Obama made her views known as the House Appropriations Committee considered a plan this week to allow schools to opt out of the federal lunch standards if they’ve lost money for six months.

School lunch directors from across the country have complained in recent years about drastic drops in revenue tied to the standards that force students to take food they don’t want, and tend to throw away. Some districts have even dumped the federal lunch program altogether, opting to go it alone without federal assistance.

Student revolts – including a viral YouTube video – also erupted in several districts as students have dumped their lunches into overflowing garbage cans, rather than choke down the unappetizing food.
[Read more…]

The Consumer Wins in Illinois: Legislative Committee Defeats a Progressive Plan to Add a Big New Tax on Soft Drinks


(popandroll.com)

Just as First Lady Michele Obama fights to defend her failed school lunch nutritional standards, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio talks about renewing the effort to ban large soft drinks, we learn that the Illinois legislature came dangerously close to passing a big new tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

From HotAir.com:

A panel of House lawmakers today voted down a proposal to impose a tax of one penny per ounce on sugar-sweetened beverages, saying it would have cost consumers an extra $2.88 per case of soda. Sponsoring Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, said she hoped the tax would generate up to $600 million a year in a state grappling for new dollars while steering people away from unhealthy drinks linked to obesity and diabetes.

Progressives in Illinois must be crushed by the defeat of this legislation. It had everything they could possibly want in a bill – it created more revenue for more big government giveaway programs, and penalized citizens for using products that progressives don’t approve of.

Those in government really need to get a simple fact through their do-gooder heads – Americans live in a free country, which was established on the principle of personal liberty. That means they should have a right (at the very least) to eat and drink what they want without having to be penalized in the form of taxes.

But honestly, does anyone really believe progressives care about “steering people away” from unhealthy foods as much as they care about finding new sources of government spending money? They know Americans are addicted to carbonated drinks and will continue to buy them, despite the cost. That’s why they wanted the tax increase.

It won’t be long before they start targeting potato chips and other forms of junk food, based on the argument that they drive up health care costs.

Thank goodness there were representatives on duty in Illinois who were genuinely on the lookout for consumers. They realized that people will drink soda, anyway, and new taxes would only hurt family budgets. They didn’t try to use the tax system to dictate to citizens what they should drink. They simply voted against a measure that would unnecessarily hurt their pocketbooks.

That’s the proper role of government.

Kansas School District Considers Making School Breakfasts and Lunches Free for All Students, Regardless of Need

free lunch
(Steve Breen for San Diego Union-Tribune)

President Obama’s former “green” jobs advisor Van Jones has famously said that transformational “change” must occur from the top-down, the bottom-up and the inside-out.

“Top-down” change — like “Obamacare” and amnesty for illegal immigrants — is easy to spot. Bottom-up, inside-out change, on the other hand, is much more subtle.

A good example of “bottom-up” change comes from Kansas’ Wichita Public Schools, where leaders are considering making the district’s free lunch and breakfast program open to all students, not just those from low-income families, according to KAKE.com.

Wichita’s potential free-for-all food program is made possible by a “community eligibility” provision in the 2010 Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act — championed by First Lady Michelle Obama — that allows school districts with a high percentage of “identified students” to bypass the typical, free-lunch application process and to throw the doors open for all students, regardless of need.

MSNBC.com explains:

“Schools qualify for community eligibility when over 40% of their students are ‘Identified Students,’ meaning they automatically qualify for free lunch because they’re homeless, in foster care, enrolled in Head Start, or live in households which receive certain kinds of federal assistance, such as food stamps. If a school meets that threshold, then it can bypass the whole process by which individual parents apply for their children to receive free meals. Instead, the federal government subsidizes free meals for the entire student population.”

The Wichita school district “is eligible because at least one school has 40 percent or more of students who qualify for free or reduced meals,” KAKE.com reports.
[Read more…]

Michelle Obama is being stubborn in her defense of school lunch alterations that children hate

school lunch
(paperblog.com)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Good government requires those in power to recognize and acknowledge their mistakes and take action to correct any damage they’ve done.

But First Lady Michelle Obama – who is not part of our federal government in any official capacity – just can’t accept defeat. She’s insisting on fighting a Republican effort in Congress to roll back her “healthy” school lunch initiative, despite the huge problems the program has caused.

The fact is that there’s nothing healthy about the new school lunch standards, which were partially designed by Mrs. Obama and implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

They are not doing much for kids, because millions of students are throwing their lunches in the garbage, or not purchasing the meals at all.

And they are certainly not helping school districts, which are now losing money due to the extreme drop in lunch sales. Hundreds of districts around the nation have dropped out of the federal lunch program, saying it’s better to go their own way, without government assistance, than continue to lose money on food that kids won’t eat.

But none of those facts are bothering Mrs. Obama.

From The Daily Republic:

“Sounding a new aggressive tone, first lady Michelle Obama vowed in a private conference call on Monday to fight industry efforts at rolling back healthy school lunch standards, an issue that could come up for a vote later this week.”

Obama’s allies on the left are coming to her defense.
[Read more…]

Bill would allow some schools to opt out of Michelle Obama’s lunch menu

Michelle Obama Lunch
(eagnews.org)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Numerous problems were created when the USDA created new “healthy” regulations for school lunches that were championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Now, House Republicans are looking to ease the burden of the new regulations:

House Republicans are proposing to let some schools opt out of healthier school lunch and breakfast programs if they are losing money.

A GOP spending bill for agriculture and food programs released Monday would allow schools to apply for waivers if they have a net loss on school food programs for a six month period.

Championed by first lady Michelle Obama, the new standards have been phased in over the last two school years, with more changes coming in 2014. The rules set fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on foods in the lunch line and beyond.

The first lady held a call to rally supporters of the healthier food rules Monday as a House subcommittee is expected to consider the bill on Tuesday.

Continue reading here.