Organic Consumers Association

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D.C. Mayor Axes Healthier School Food

When times get tough, the first thing to go, apparently, is better school food.

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, attempting to close a $188 million gap in the city's budget, has proposed eliminating funds that had been designated for better school meals as part of a "Healthy Schools" initiative approved earlier this year, which I reported on here.

The budget measure would halt payment of some $4.6 million that was to pay an extra 10 cents for every breakfast served in D.C. public schools, an extra 10 cents for every lunch, and 5 cents for every lunch meal that contained a locally grown component.

The legislation, which was months in the making and funded only after a dramatic controversy over a proposed "soda tax," had placed the District of Columbia in the forefront of local jurisdictions attempting to improve the quality of meals children eat at school. The extra funding, in addition to some $7 million in deficit spending the schools currently contribute to the food program, would have made D.C. one of the most generous school districts in the country where its meals are concerned.

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