Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalized a rule providing regulatory relief under the federal Child Nutrition Programs. The rule was initially published last year, after Hoeven secured a commitment from Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to work with him, school nutrition professionals and school districts to ease the regulations. Prior to this, Hoeven secured a provision in annual funding legislation passed last year that granted schools greater flexibility in meeting USDA’s whole grains and sodium requirements.
“Our school nutrition professionals do a tremendous job in providing healthy and nutritious meals that kids will actually eat,” said Hoeven. “The previous requirements for the federal child nutrition programs set unrealistic, one-size fits-all standards. That’s why we worked with Secretary Perdue to advance this flexibility under the final rule, which will empower schools to provide quality meals while still making their budget.”