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USDA proposes changes to school lunch guidelines

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing more flexible guidelines for school lunches, which would allow schools to reduce the amount of vegetables and fruits required at lunch and breakfast.

The USDA said the changes would continue to ensure children receive wholesome, tasty meals but making it easier for schools to offer school lunch entrees for a la carte purchases.

Also, it would provide schools options to customize meal patterns to best serve children in different grades or smaller schools who eat together.

People against the possible changes say it will allow schools to serve more unhealthy options including burgers, pizza and fries.  

School officials at Blessed Sacrament in Quincy say it is too early to tell how the proposed guidelines would impact them.

But under the current guidelines, they try their best to give students options.

"We have them bring in their suggestions and complaints, maybe the kids came back and didn't like what they had," cafeteria staff member Devin Huner said.|

Principal Christie Bliven said the goal is to provide balanced options for children under current and future USDA requirements.

Besides options, the big issue across the country is food waste.

The USDA release states the new school lunch requirements would cut down on that.

At Blessed Sacrament, this year they began a new initiative called the "share table", where kids can put food items into a bin, for other students to grab if they are still hungry.

Huner added the table has been successful and has cut down on food waste.

On January 23-24, 2020, the USDA 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will hold its fourth meeting. Here's a look at the agenda:

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