NSBA Director Neil Putnam joins Rep. Noem in calling for flexibility for school meal programs

Federal child nutrition programs touch the lives of millions of low-income children every day. In a call for flexibility for school meal programs, U.S. Representative Kristi Noem (R-ND) introduced the Permanent Flexibility for School Meals Act. With this legislation in place, schools would be able to use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) research and recommendations as a resource in designing healthy breakfast and lunch options for kids, but there would be no requirement to follow the existing mandates.

“I firmly believe decisions that affect our kids are best made by those closest to our kids,” said Rep. Noem in a press release issued by her office. “With a nationwide scope, federal bureaucrats have made choices for our families based on faceless statistics, boiling down their calculations into one-size-fits-all requirements. But the parents, local school administrators, school nutritionists and cooks who see our kids every day observe the real-life impact of the food that lands on our kids’ trays. It’s them that I trust with these decisions, which is ultimately what the Permanent Flexibility for School Meals Act is all about.”

Neil Putnam a member of the Mitchell School Board and the Western Region Director for NSBA was quoted in Rep. Noem’s press release stating: “School meal programs work best when local school boards have the flexibility to maximize resources allocated for school meal programs. Flexibility, and not mandates and regulations, help local districts reduce food waste and costs, and increase student participation in school meal programs."

More information about the “Permanent Flexibility for School Meals Act" is available in Rep. Noem’s press release.

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