Chartwells School Dining Services Comments on USDA”s Elimination of Weekly Grain and Protein Maximums for 2012 – 2013 School Year

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released new updates on December 10, 2012 to the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program (NSLBP) that eliminates the weekly maximums for grains and proteins for the remainder of the 2012 – ’13 school year. All other guidelines from the initial school meal standards will remain in place.

The USDA has not yet announced whether the new rule changes for grain and protein requirements will continue into the 2013-14 school year, but officials indicated that they will continue to assess the requirements over the coming months.

Chartwells School Dining Services strongly supports ongoing improvements to the lunch meal pattern that are a key component of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), signed into law by President Obama in 2010 and the updated school meal regulations released in January 2012.

“These slight changes will help us improve menu flexibility and increase student participation in the program while still maintaining a high standard of nutrition,” said Margie Saidel, Vice President of Nutrition at Chartwells School Dining Services. “Chartwells’ programs will continue to be based on strong nutrition principles and cooking techniques that result in healthy foods that are appealing to children.”

Chartwells’ strategy is to continue to partner with the school districts they manage to meet USDA guidelines and district expectations to provide quality, nutritious meals that students will enjoy. Chartwells is confident that the districts they operate are well prepared for the changing regulations.