U.S. GROWERS CONCERNED WITH NEW SCHOOL MEAL RULES
WASHINGTON, D.C.-The following statement is from John Keeling, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Potato Council (NPC), on the release of the USDA's final regulations on school meals:
"As growers of the most nutrient-rich and cost-efficient vegetable available to schools, U.S. potato growers are pleased that USDA recognizes the importance of increasing the overall consumption of vegetables by children. However, we are concerned that, just as in the proposed regulations, USDA's final rule falls short of giving schools flexibility in the breakfast program to meet nutritional goals within their constrained budgets. The rule's prescriptive nature in promoting certain groups of vegetables over others will increase costs while handcuffing local schools' abilities to meet USDA's nutrition, caloric, fat and sodium requirements. We look forward to working with school foodservice professionals around the country as they evaluate the final rule and work to increase vegetable consumption by students at both breakfast and lunch."