DearColleague.us

Letter

Tim Ryan

From the office of:

Tim Ryan

Sending Office: Honorable Tim Ryan
Sent By:
Rachel.Jenkins@mail.house.gov

Sign-On Letter: Deadline Extended: Friday (1/31) COB

Current Signers (34): Barragán, Castro, Cox, Davis (Danny K.), DeFazio, DeLauro, DelBene, DeSaulnier, Dingell, Fudge, Grijalva, Haaland, Hastings, Khanna, Kildee, Kilmer, Lawson, Lee (TX), McNerney, Moore, Moulton,
Mucarsel-Powell, Holmes Norton, Pappas, Payne Jr, Price, Rush, Ryan, Schakowsky, Schiff, Smith (WA), Takano, Velazquez (NY), Wild

Dear Colleague:

Last Friday, Secretary Perdue proposed a rule to rollback the nutrition standards in school lunches. In 2010, Congress authorized child nutrition programs with the bipartisan
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. For the first time, these standards included evidence-based standards for the nutritional quality of school meals. They paved the way for students to get more fruits and vegetables in their school lunch while
also limiting sugar, fat, and sodium. These historic standards were based on the simple premise that nutrition is a vital foundation of successful learning.

Sadly, the Trump Administration’s proposal is yet another attack on the health and well-being of our children. If this proposed rule were to be finalized, it would threaten the nutritional quality of lunches and breakfasts served by schools. The proposal
allows for unhealthier options to be served as allowable entrées, limits the variety of vegetables served at lunch, and reduces the requirement of fruit served with some breakfasts.

Please join us in sending a letter to Secretary Perdue expressing our strong opposition to this proposed rule.
To add your boss to this letter, please fill out this
form. For questions, please email Rachel Jenkins (rachel.jenkins@mail.house.gov) in Rep. Ryan’s Office or Christian Lovell (christian.lovell@mail.house.gov) in Rep. DeLauro’s Office.

—————–

January XX, 2020

Dear Secretary Perdue:

We write in strong opposition to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed rule, published on January 23, 2020, titled “Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs” (Docket
No. FNS-2020-00926). The proposed rule would roll back a decade of improvements to the nutritional quality of school lunches and jeopardize the health of our nation’s youth.

Congress last authorized child nutrition programs with the bipartisan Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that, for the first time, included evidence-based standards for the nutritional quality of school meals. They paved the way for students
to get more fruits and vegetables in their school lunch while also limiting sugar, fat, and sodium. These historic standards were based on the simple premise that nutrition is a vital foundation of successful learning.

Since being enacted, study after study has shown the overwhelming success of strong nutrition standards for school meals. Previously, the Department has acknowledged research that found vegetable and fruit consumption at lunch time increased by 16 percent
and 23 percent, respectively, after the standards went into effect.[1] And, top researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health concluded in 2015 that the standards “make the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids
Act one of the most important national obesity prevention policy achievements in recent decades.”[2]

Even USDA’s recent analysis and data show that the standards increased the nutritional quality of school lunch and breakfast. In April 2019, USDA quietly released its School Nutrition and Meal Cost study,[3]
which revealed the mean Healthy Eating Index Score[4] for lunches increased from 57.9 to 81.5 and for breakfast increased from 49.6 to 71.3, out of a possible 100. Moreover, according to USDA data, of the schools
that participate in the National School Lunch Program, more than 99 percent of them were meeting the new standards.[5]

Thus, we are deeply disappointed that the Trump Administration has continually sought to weaken standards for school meals and jeopardize the health of our children. If this proposed rule were to be finalized, it would threaten the nutritional quality of
lunches and breakfasts served by schools. The proposal allows for unhealthier options to be served as allowable entrées, limits the variety of vegetables served at lunch, and reduces the requirement of fruit served with some breakfasts. That is unacceptable.

We urge you to withdraw this proposed rule and maintain the nutrition standards for school meals to ensure the health and well-being of our children.

 

Sincerely,

 

ROSA L. DeLAURO                                           TIM RYAN

Member of Congress                                           Member of Congress 

 


[1]
https://www.fns.usda.gov/pressrelease/2014/009814
.

[2]
https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/pdf/10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0631

[3]
School Nutrition and Meal Cost study

[4] A measure of meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

[5]
https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/cn/SFAcert_FY16Q4.pdf

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Selected legislative information: Education, Family Issues, HealthCare

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