Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) have cosponsored the “No Hungry Kids Act,” which aims to repeal the legislation they say is sending kids home hungry. PJ Media spoke to Huelskamp on September 20, when he called the regulations “the epitome of good intentions gone awry.”
Huelskamp said he got involved in August — in Kansas, school starts in August, much earlier than many other states — when a relative sent him pictures of what was in a school lunch:
One size doesn’t fit all, particularly in the lunchroom. The goal of the school lunch program is supposed to be feeding children, not filling the trash cans with uneaten food. The USDA’s new school lunch guidelines are a perfect example of what is wrong with government: misguided inputs, tremendous waste, and unaccomplished goals. Thanks to the Nutrition Nannies at the USDA, America’s children are going hungry at school.
Huelskamp noted that even the last refuge of the hungry kid — the unlimited school salad bar — is now more or less a thing of the past:
Eight-hundred calories is not going to get you from lunch through football practice. They can’t even have an unlimited salad bar any more because they [the kids] might put too much cheese on it or not have the mandated eight cherry tomatoes.
The amount of protein a child is allowed on their trays is seriously limited as well, according to Huelskamp. He said the current regulations limit servings of protein, which could be anything from a hamburger to a side of beans, to 1.5 ounces two days a week and 2 ounces the other three days.
Huelskamp suggested the administration’s focus is perhaps misplaced:
It was a sentiment with which Moran agreed:
I don’t really think childhood obesity is because of school lunches. Their aim shouldn’t be at the schools.
It’s really up to parents what their kids eat and the government should not be mandating. It drives up the cost, it strips people of freedom and eliminates local control. The intrusiveness has been growing and recently it’s been indescribable. These things are done by bureaucratic mandate. These are people who cannot be held accountable. I would have to wonder how many of these bureaucrats are having pizza at their meetings.
In a release, King was vehement that these regulations were not helping and were intruding on the rights of parents:
The misguided nanny state, as advanced by Michelle Obama’s “Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act,” was interpreted by (USDA) Secretary (Tom) Vilsack to be a directive that, because some kids are overweight, he would put every child on a diet. Parents know that their kids deserve all of the healthy and nutritious food they want.