The Public Needs to Know Essay

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The recent changes to the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and National School Lunch Program (NSLP) have had a significant impact on the nutritional and health status of public and non-profit private schools in the state of Maryland, with the hope of fighting childhood obesity and hunger. The federal and state government, along with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have issued regulations and guidelines to improve healthier eating in the United States school system. The economic situation of the state of Maryland is an issue related with the recent change in the school lunch and breakfast programs. The government increased 6 cents per meal reimbursement for the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program, if the participants met the new nutrition standards, which are in accordance with the Federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans. With the USDA addressing the potential cost increases, schools are now able to offer healthier meals, with a higher serving of fruits and healthier vegetables, along with more whole grains. Some schools have concerns that by the 2014-2015 school year the new regulations on “competitive foods” sold outside of the USDA programs and vending machines will impact revenue. The government is trying to create “a healthier school nutrition environment” by possibly implementing these guidelines as well. (Guthrie & Newman, 2013) Another issue with the economic situation is that low income families can’t afford to pay the school breakfast and national lunch programs. The Federal Government set Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) to determine if a child is able to receive free or reduced price meals. Free meals are offered to families at or below 130 percent of the poverty level. Reduced-prices meals are offered when a family’s income is between 130-185 percent of the poverty level. Participates that receive reduced prices are not

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