It’s possible that one Michelle Obama legacy is set to be nixed by the Trump administration. The initiative was controversial from the beginning, and many were hoping it would be re-examined after it fell flat with America’s youth.
The former first lady was committed to making a difference in the health of young people and was determined to fight childhood obesity. The answer came in the form of strict government regulations for school lunches. Drastic changes that schools made in lunches they served students was unpopular, resulting in lunch recipients posting photos of the unappetizing meals on social media accompanied with the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama.
The Hill reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is seriously aiming to “loosen” regulations on school lunches, a key Michelle Obama initiative. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is expected to reveal a new rule Monday that would allow schools more flexibility in meeting federal nutrition standards for school lunches.
According to the report, the USDA announced Friday that Perdue and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) will make the announcement at the Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia. The two will eat lunch with students at the school.
— Jeanette (@texasfreedom101) April 24, 2017
In 2016, Roberts and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced legislation that granted schools two more years to meet reduced limits on sodium, but the bill didn’t pass.
The Trump administration seeking to drop Michelle Obama’s initiative is being criticized by some, including the American Heart Association. The organization’s CEO, Nancy Brown, said in a statement that 99 percent of schools are in compliance and that the program is working.
“Improving children’s health should be a top priority for the USDA, and serving more nutritious foods in schools is a clear-cut way to accomplish this goal,” Brown said.
She adds that “rather than altering the current path forward, we hope the agency focuses more on providing technical assistance that can help schools get across the finish line, if they haven’t done so already.”
NBC News reports that it’s unclear what will come of the school lunch program or how significant the changes will be. Schools have had strict regulations imposed on them to qualify for federal funding of the National School Lunch Program. If requirements weren’t met, they didn’t receive federal funds to feed students.
— Power Primal (@power_primal) March 15, 2017
The Daily Mail reports that photos of the unsavory-looking lunches have been posted to social media by students as recently as last week. Lunches are mushy and have small portions. One student wrote that “prisoners eat better food.”
— ken (@kennddallll_) April 12, 2017
Despite the regulations imposed on schools to include more vegetables, fruits, and grains, the images tell a different story. In some cases, food isn’t fresh and is often inedible.
Critics have blasted the Michelle Obama lunch program for not being an adequate enough meal for growing kids and for those who depend on getting one good source of food the day. A lot of children who live in poverty or don’t eat well at home could at least count on one quality meal at school. The school lunch program started by Obama changed that for a lot of kids, and many were outraged.
It was even pointed out that the Obama daughters were attending a private school that had indulgent lunches for students. There was a sense of misplaced concern for those children attending public schools when the first daughters had decadent lunches.
What do you think of this Michelle Obama legacy being a target by the Trump administration?
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]