Vilsack answers school lunch uproar with snack solution

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In the wake of uproar over the new, healthier, Michelle Obama-backed school lunch menu, Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told ABC News that the department is working on creating a snack program to curb students hunger.

The USDA implemented the new calorie restrictions and protein/carb-limited menu revamp of public school meals, under the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,” in August. The changes have caused a stir in schools across the country, with children and parents claiming students are not getting enough to sustain them through the day.

“This year, we’ll be hungry by 2:00,” one student, Zach Eck, told KAKETV in Kansas of the new meal menu. “We would eat our pencils at school if they had nutritional value.”

Vilsack told ABC News that the solution is a snack.

“It’s not surprising that some youngsters will, in the middle of the day, be hungry,” Vilsack said Wednesday. “I remember my two boys when they came back from school they were always hungry, we always had snacks prepared for them.”

According to ABC News the Department is working with school districts to craft a snack program and encouraging parents to pack a snack for students with after-school activities.

“We understand that change is difficult,” Vilsack said. “Some folks love it, some folks have had questions about it, but that’s to be expected when you’re dealing with 32 million children and you’re dealing with over a hundred thousand school districts.”

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