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Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Biden plans to bring back affordable, healthy lunches

Schools+across+the+nation+may+see+a+change+in+their+school+lunches+as+more+restrictions+have+been+set+in+place+to+change+next+year.+
Grace Sherman
Schools across the nation may see a change in their school lunches as more restrictions have been set in place to change next year.

In the last few years, school districts across the nation were given the opportunity to provide free lunches to all students due to temporary pandemic policies. Starting this year, this mandatory policy ended, discontinuing the free lunch program for all students currently. 

Biden’s 2024 budget plan for schools is adding an additional $15 billion for school lunches over a 10 year span, hoping to offer free lunches to 9 million more students. This policy has been proposed to extend the free lunch program but at this time it has not been passed. 

On March 6, 2023, the department of agriculture proposed new regulations on school lunches served across the country. These new regulations will focus on meat, poultry and eggs, along with lowering sodium and sugar. 

Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa, and now secretary of agriculture, has proposed healthier options for school lunches and cutting out excessive ingredients. 

These new adjustments have students wondering what the quality, quantity and taste will now be. “I am afraid that if the ingredients change a lot then we will get less portions for health reasons. Also, with less sugar and salt, these lunches may taste more bland because of less flavor,” Senior Molly Ramirez said. 

For Pleasant Valley, these food policies have been set in place for many years, as the school always provides healthier options. Corie Gamble, the food service director at PV, believes that these changes would not cause much difference in our district meals. “School meals are often the healthiest meals students and staff will eat in a day. We currently follow the guidelines already in place and provide a wide variety of healthy, tasty menu items,” she said. 

These new standards are beneficial for many students to fulfill their daily nutritional needs they may not get at home. 

For some schools, these requirements may cause a whole new look for their lunch menu. With less salt and sugar, some flavor gets taken away and so many students might see a big change in the taste of their meals. “We will make every effort to keep the menu items fresh and full of flavor without having to add sugar or salt. Instead, we can use herbs, vegetables, etc,” Gamble explained. 

Student lunches are the top priority for many schools, wanting to offer the most beneficial meal for all. Pleasant Valley continues to put students first and is constantly seeking to improve their menu. “We will continue to source as many local produce items as possible, including local, organic apples and have been buying more fresh produce for the fruit and veggie bars,” Gamble added. 

As the guidelines continue to strengthen, and there is a nationwide push towards offering more students one guaranteed free meal, the ingredients are set to improve, resulting in healthier lunches that benefit all students.

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Grace Sherman
Grace Sherman, Student Life Editor
Grace Sherman is a senior at Pleasant Valley and serves as the Student Life Editor for the Spartan Shield. She is 17 years old, and has been a competitive dancer all her life. She works at her studio teaching a variety of styles to young aspiring dancers. Grace’s future plans are to continue her education at University of Iowa to major in Nursing. This year Grace was selected as one of the leaders for the Pleasant Valley Student Section. She loves attending all sporting events and cheering on her peers. In Grace’s freetime she enjoys traveling, hanging out with her friends, and shopping. She is excited to finish off her senior year and for what's to come in her future. Grace enjoys keeping up with school and social events and is excited to take on her role on the Spartan Shield. 

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    Katelyn KieferApr 14, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Many students saw the benefits of free school lunches which helped many families through the pandemic. While it didn’t seem like a lot, student’s didn’t have to worry about lunch money at lunch because they always knew a meal would be waiting for them. This wasn’t such a big issue at PV but many other schools in the surrounding area saw the benefits during school lunches.

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Biden plans to bring back affordable, healthy lunches