Recently confirmed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will unveil a new rule for the National School Lunch Program next week, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Friday.
Perdue and Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts will release a new interim rule “designed to provide flexibility for school meals” at an elementary school in Leesburg, Va. Monday, a USDA press release stated. The exact nature of the interim rule is unclear, but the USDA said it will provide “regulatory flexibility” for public schools.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama spearheaded reforms to the school lunch program to improve youth nutrition and reduce childhood obesity, but many schools found the restrictions difficult to follow.
“I hope [the school lunch program] does not get touched because that makes sense,” Obama said on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon on Jan. 12, before President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Obama said “we have to keep doing things that make sense for our future. I’m not done. I’m too young. I’m too young to stop. We’ve made plans for the continuation of all that we’re doing. I will continue to stay involved with these issues as long as I live.”
Roberts and Democratic Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow unsuccessfully tried to loosen school lunch rules last May. Their bill would have eased whole grain requirements, and allowed schools two more years to reduce sodium levels. The bill failed to make it to a floor vote in the Senate.