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School Lunch Decisions

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Date:
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Thomas Jefferson said, "that government is best which governs the least." Unfortunately, Washington sometimes thinks it knows better than people outside the Capitol. Recent changes in our school lunch programs are a prime example of another government overreach.

The federal government expanded the school lunch program in 1933 during the Great Depression. Our state first got help when schools in Southwest Missouri received government loans to help with labor costs to prepare meals. Now, that helping hand has grown to account for $14.3 billion in government spending nationwide.

In an effort to fight childhood obesity, new guidelines have cut portion sizes for protein and grains in lieu of bigger, mandatory servings of fruit and vegetables. These calorie limits have resulted in hungry kids and trash cans overflowing with uneaten fruits and vegetables.

Telling a teenage athlete they can't go back for seconds is simply not a decision for the government to make. What's more, many schools were already taking steps to encourage better eating habits by offering the freedom to choose as much fruits and vegetables as a child wants.

Federal funds account for hundreds of thousands of dollars for school districts' lunch budgets each year. But if they don't follow the new guidelines, local schools are at risk of losing that much-needed money.

We have many strong schools in the Sixth Congressional District because we have educators and parents who know what's best for their students. I want to make sure that Washington red tape doesn't get in their way of making sensible decisions.


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