03.04.15

Chairman Roberts Pledges to Bring Folks to the Table Throughout Child Nutrition Reauthorization

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a Legislative Action Conference for the School Nutrition Association (SNA), U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today said he would bring everyone to the table as the debate over reauthorizing child nutrition programs begins.

“We need to find a way to bring folks together and have a big picture discussion on how to retain the great advancements that some schools have made, and to allow other districts to meet the challenges,” Roberts said. “We do not intend to take away any successes or devolve to the lowest common denominator, which some folks have expressed concern. We intend to find ways for the program to fulfill its mission: serving nutritious meals to children in need in the best possible manner.”

As school districts of all sizes across America are having successes and facing difficulties implementing the new regulations, Senator Roberts has been eating school lunches with students across Kansas and hearing firsthand from both sides of the serving line.

“As I visit these schools, I am finding that we need a program that works for all districts, regardless of their location and access to resources,” said Roberts. “There are close to 300 school districts in Kansas. If you think about how many districts there are in the United States, and how different each district is, it is clear that a one-size fits all approach will not work for everyone.”

Senator Roberts acknowledged and applauded the hard work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in providing training and technical assistance to schools having challenges.

Senator Roberts challenged SNA members to remain engaged and energized as child nutrition reauthorization is making its way through Congress.

“This reauthorization is about more than standards," Roberts said. "it is about taking the opportunity provided us to make government programs work for the people, not the other way around.”

 

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