Stanley Garnett resigned from the SNA in protest, saying, “They sold their souls to the devil.”
By “devil” he meant food corporations which provide income to the SNA.
While this relationship to food companies could appear to be a conflict of interest, there are more plausible reasons why the SNA completely changed their minds and reversed themselves on the new school lunches that Michelle Obama is championing.
Victor Skinner explains on the EAGnews blog,
SNA officials rightly point out that many students are throwing away the additional fruits and vegetables included in their lunches, amounting to $684 million in food waste every year – or roughly “enough to serve complete reimbursable school lunches to more than 228 million students,” according to the Times.
The association contends the “nutritious” federal lunch menu is also proving costly for many school districts that are now forced to purchase more expensive foods to comply with the new regulations.
SNA reportedly first expressed concerns about the new federal regulations in 2011, and later met with Agriculture Department officials, but have been largely ignored. That prompted SNA leaders to call on Congress instead, and they have now targeted the group’s lobbying efforts at lawmakers in the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, which are considering legislation to waive the nutrition standards for next school year, according to the Times news service.
“SNA saw the appropriations process as the only way of providing our members immediate relief,” Diane Pratt-Heavner, SNA spokeswoman, told the Times.
SNA critics contend the group sold out to big food companies that don’t like the “healthy” lunch overhaul, but what they don’t discuss is the overwhelming evidence that many parents and school nutrition experts also dislike the new rules.
Aside from the significant school lunch revenue declines and massive food waste tied to the changes, hungry students across the country have protested against the strict nutrition guidelines.
Many student athletes, for example, have argued their limited-calorie lunches leave them famished. Parents have reported their children are now going without school lunch, then binge eating when they get home. Parents have also complained about ridiculously strict interpretations of the federal lunch rules, which have resulted in a ban on birthday cupcakes in classrooms, among other things.
Looking at their reasons for opposing the changes in school lunches reminds me of the Obamacare rollout. Once again the Administration promises big things but seems to have no idea how to actually make them work out in real life.