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Norton Says House Interference In D.C. School Lunches Harmful

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School lunches have prompted contention over local autonomy on food choices.
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School lunches have prompted contention over local autonomy on food choices.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) says Republican attempts to unwind school nutrition programs could hurt low-income students in the District.

House Republicans are taking aim at new nutrition requirements introduced to the nation's school by First Lady Michelle Obama. New food restrictions, like requiring more whole grains at public schools, are set to take effect this summer, but Republicans say those decisions should be made at the local level because federal regulations are too costly on many school districts.

Norton says this latest GOP attempt to take the federal government out of public schools is unacceptable.

"The statutory change in how we do school lunches is going to be central to whether or not we have children who become obese in elementary school, develop high blood pressure in junior high school, because what we're doing now is not just school lunches, we are trying to give children healthful food and a model and their parents a model for what should be done at home," Norton says.

The new requirements for public schools are scheduled to come out in July, but Republicans are hoping to gut them before they’re able to take effect.

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