Feature

Congress blocks school lunch overhaul

The changes proposed by the Agriculture Department were the first in 15 years.

Congress this week shelved proposed changes to the nation’s school lunch program that were designed to reduce childhood obesity by adding fruits and vegetables while cutting french fries and pizza. The changes proposed by the Agriculture Department, the first in 15 years to the $11 billion school lunch program, would have added $6.8 billion in taxpayer costs over five years, and so were rejected by House Republicans as “overly burdensome and costly regulations” that would restrict the freedom of local school districts to plan their own menus. With the overhaul defeated, the tomato paste on a slice of frozen pizza still counts as a serving of vegetables.

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