In 2010, the United States Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act in an attempt to get kids to eat healthier and exercise more. The act is sometimes referred to as a reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 authorizes funding for federal school meal and child nutrition programs and increases access to healthy food for low-income children, according to the Obama White House Archives website. According to the United States Department of Agriculture website, the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act allowed the USDA for the first time in 30 years to really make some reforms to school lunch and breakfast programs by improving nutrition and creating a hunger safety net for millions of children.
At the local level, an interview was conducted with Dr. Conklin, the Head of Food and Nutrition Services at Urbandale High School, several questions were asked regarding the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act and its effect on the school district.
The question was asked for Dr. Conklin to define “healthy” by her standards for the school’s lunches. Dr. Conklin replied by explaining how Urbandale’s school lunches have to fall in line with the National School Lunch Program’s guidelines, so what the NSLP considers healthy, is what she considers healthy for school lunches. When asked about the act in regards to school sponsored events, such as football games, Dr. Conklin responded by saying that any event between midnight and 4 p.m. have to follow the guidelines but, any event after those times are not required to follow the guidelines of the act. It was also asked if the students’ opinions had been taken into consideration in regards to the new restrictions. Dr. Conklin stated there was not much wiggle room for a student’s point of view on the new lunches and rules.
Several students in the lunchroom were interviewed and asked about their opinions on new lunchroom foods and with new school rules regarding the implementation of this act.
Maggie Gardner, a UHS Junior, responded this way when asked about Connections restrictions; “It’s stupid. If we want cookies and pizza, then we should be able to have them.”
Kyra Johnson, a UHS junior, responded; “I think it’s stupid. I feel Connections is a place where we can chill and have fun and eat whatever.”
When asked if new restrictions caused them to bring cold lunch more often, Gardner replied; “No. I’ve been bringing cold lunch since I started at UHS.”
Johnson responded; “No. I’ve always brought cold lunch.”
Clearly these new lunch restrictions haven’t swayed some students on bringing their lunches, but the restrictions on Connections treats have obviously ruffled some feathers.