Advocates urge swift reauthorization of school lunch program

Written by Radio Pennsylvania | Mar 5, 2016 10:36 AM

FILE PHOTO: AP Photo/Jeff Amy

(Washington, D.C.) -- A bill to reauthorize the National School Lunch Program for the next five years is in the United States Senate and advocates from Pennsylvania recently traveled to Washington to urge swift passage.

The Food Service Director for Mt. Lebanon School District outside of Pittsburgh, Tazeen Chowdhury, says they implemented higher nutrition standards for school lunches about a decade before they became law and they've been able to see students' eating habits change for the better.

Chowdhury admits her district is wealthier, but food service departments are largely funded by federal dollars. She says with the right resources, struggling districts can reach the same level as her's in the cafeteria.

"Even though they are meeting the guidelines, they don't have the equipment, they don't have the infrastructure to improve.  But they can do it if they're given the tools to do that," she said.

Chowdhury says the reauthorization bill will give school districts in Pennsylvania the security to plan ahead for the health of their students.


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