Nutrition Policy Institute submits comments to USDA in opposition of proposed rule to roll back nutrition standards for meals in child care and school
The Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) submitted on April 22, 2020 comments in strong opposition to the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) “Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs” proposed rule. The proposed rule would roll back nutrition standards in both the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. For nearly twenty years, researchers at the NPI and its predecessor organization have engaged in research and evaluation to improve nutrition policy in California and the nation, with special emphasis on the challenges for low-income children in accessing a healthy diet. "Today, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, these challenges have been greatly magnified," commented NPI Policy Director Ken Hecht. "The numbers of unemployed low-income families whose children need nutrition assistance has grown exponentially at the very time when schools, the operating site for most child nutrition programs, are closed. Fortunately, Congress and the USDA have acted quickly to expand and ease access to the essential food programs. Unfortunately, the proposed rules to which these comments are addressed seem largely counterproductive to children's health and well being and unresponsive to the pandemic."