As summer is in full swing, we now look forward to the next school year. Before you know it, it will be time to think about what your child will be having for lunch. With a new administration in Washington, lots of changes are upon us, including some announcements from Sonny Perdue, the new head of the USDA, which governs the School Lunch program which will go into effect on July 1, 2017.
With the first change they have lessened the restriction on whole grains from the 100% whole grains. This is helpful in reducing the amount of food waste as students did not care for the whole grain product.
The second change will allow 1% fat back in the flavored milks, such as chocolate and strawberry, while maintaining fat free in regular milk. Again, this 1% increase has been found to be more palatable for students.
The third change is placing a halt on further reducing sodium limits from their current standards as previously stated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. In the original workup, the sodium levels were supposed to be cut in half by 2022. However, the USDA is keeping them at the current target mark as product manufacturers claimed reducing sodium to lower levels would affect the flavor profiles and make the product unacceptable to students.
The fourth change is to increase sources of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables at each meal provided, as well as incorporating those into new menu choices, which will make school lunches better than ever!
Reminders for the beginning of school:
- Set up your student’s accounts early! Start the school year off by check or cash brought to the food service office, or through our free online payment option at sendmoneytoschool.com.
- Send Money also has the option for automatic payment monthly!
- Updated Free & Reduced application at lunchapp.com.
- Applications for the 2017/18 school year will begin to be accepted after July 1, 2017.
- Fully interactive online menu that is mobile friendly on the Rockford School District Page http://www.rockfordschools.org/our-district/food-service/.
John Henry, Director