- Apr 12, 2008
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February 21, 2012
Top Level USDA Reps Showing Up in US Lunchrooms
M Catharine Evans
Last Monday a top United States Department of Agriculture representative showed up at a school in Richmond, Virginia to arbitrate bake sales and tater tots.
Kevin Concannon, Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, sat down with kids at Miles Jones Elementary to watch the little ones "dance, workout and eat fruit cups."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently unveiled new rules that require pupils be offered fruits and vegetables every day, as well as more whole grains and less fat.
The new federal guidelines are the first major change to school lunch menus in 15 years, Concannon says.
Does this mean this [sic] goodbye to tater tots?
We're not saying goodbye, Concannon says, but we're saying let's make it occasional food.
What about bake sales?
You can have an occasional bake sale. Occasionally.
Susan Roberson director of school nutrition for Richmond Public Schools is happily going along with the push toward more oversight. She's ready to meet the new USDA guidelines despite seeing kids pass up romaine salad and snow peas for chocolate milk and corn dogs.
The more you introduce it to them...the more they'll change over sooner or later.
Another USDA official, Audrey Rowe, echoed Roberson's chilling nonchalance when it comes to this kind of poisonous pedagogical indoctrination.
As Administrator for Food and Nutrition Services, Rowe has been on the move this past year working to implement "historic" reforms in school cafeterias through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act signed into law in December 2010.
While inspecting lunch food at Elkhorn Middle School in Frankfort, Kentucky Rowe told reporters she hoped her visit could make a difference.
I think we can make it to where one day you'll say 'that lady was here and I like this food now.' That's what I'm working on.
Besides manipulating kids to eat regulated foodstuffs, Rowe and Concannon, neither of whom has doctorates in nutrition, might be working on getting as many students enrolled in the National School Lunch Program as possible.
Money for the program comes from the USDA where it's allocated to states and then to school districts based on how many students are enrolled each month. For example, in Chicago, the public school system receives $2.79 per student eligible for a government subsidized free lunch while those who buy their lunch but do not meet income requirements receive $.28.
CPS, like other school systems, uses the lunch program data to determine "levels of poverty-based funding for school districts" so they will receive additional federal funds. There's a huge monetary incentive in getting kids signed up for a free lunch program and to discourage them from bringing sandwiches and snacks from home.
Additionally, in exchange for meeting federal standards, the USDA provides reimbursement and other resources to schools.
For cash-strapped schools in disadvantaged districts is there really freedom of choice when being bribed? Just ask the kids at Miles Jones Elementary who soon will change their ways according to government mandate.