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house Bill H.R. 1066

Should Waivers be Required to Buy Foreign Food for the National School Lunch Program?

Argument in favor

This commonsense, bipartisan bill ensures that Buy American provisions in the National School Lunch Program are followed by requiring waivers whenever school food authorities want to buy foreign commodities or products because of the scarcity or cost of domestic options.

Chickie's Opinion
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04/05/2019
I strongly support this bill. There are children in the US whose only well rounded food is when they receive lunch at school, (not too long ago breakfast as well). If the schools can provide fresh food that is better, (either because it’s a better quality or better price), our children deserve them. As all Americans, at times certain foods are recalled. These fresh foods can be from other countries AND foods from the US. Because this administration has made it part of their platform to diminish the roles and personnel at the FDA and EPA, the FDA must be allowed to address those issues as quickly and proficiently as possible.
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Gopin2020's Opinion
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04/05/2019
Why are we buying foreign food for our school lunch program, that’s nuts. Only American grown food must be used, it’s not only safer, more nutritious but good for our farmers and our economy. America first. #MAGA
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04/05/2019
Yes, Please support The United States first. Also, buy Organic, Non-GMO first.
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Argument opposed

The current exceptions process for Buy American provisions in the National School Lunch Program is sufficient, as a more stringent waiver request process would lead to more domestic goods being purchased which cost taxpayers more.

Jim2423's Opinion
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04/05/2019
I am not sure what they consider foreign foods. Most of our fresh vegetables come from Mexico and below all winter long. This Bill makes no sense.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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04/05/2019
Ever hear of seasonality? This is foolish and short sighted. What are we going to feed the kids in the winter? Frozen pizza? The USA doesn’t produce fresh food year round. Dumb dumb dumb.
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Thomas's Opinion
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04/05/2019
Looks like we are adding more paperwork to an existing process.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedFebruary 7th, 2019
    Don't make schools do extra paperwork to buy food.
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    This is unnecessary bureaucratization of a process that appears to be working . . . just not working to line the pockets of some lobbyists or the entities for which they are lobbying.
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    The "Buy American" principle is good. But you have to consider that we live in the northern hemisphere, which means fresh food grown in America is available only at certain times of the year. Let's be realistic and not overly restrict School Food Authorities from making the right choices.
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    No, I think this comes under the FDA and they handle this. Don’t need duplication.
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    Why is the federal government involved in this decision at all? The U. S. Constitution left education to the states and We the People. The federal Dept. of Education is an unconstitutional construct that has done nothing but lower education standards all across the country. Defund and abolish the federal dept of ed and put control back in local hands. All schools should source food locally when possible. This is not something Congress should even be looking at. Several people here have suggested students grow some of the food on school grounds. The local high school where I live does have a green house and they grow plants, both flowers and vegetables, that are sold to the public in the Spring. It is part of the schools agriculture program. If they can do that, they can also grow food out of season' similar to the wealthy in 18th and 19th century England grew oranges and lemons on their estates.
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    There should be significantly less restrictions on school meal programs. It should be left up to each school or district to make the best decisions for local students.
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    Stop taking away from needy poor families.
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    This is actually a waste of time and illustrates how little understanding the bill’s sponsor has of the school lunch system. I was the food services director of a k-8 school in Arizona some years ago. The school was given fed $$$ to purchase the food served to kids at the school. The $ was based on # of kids who qualified financially. Therefore, more poor kids = more $. The director at the district level chooses what to purchase/serve and the only stipulation is that meals served had to meet established dietary guidelines. The problem here is that frozen foods offered on the standard market are cheaper to serve. Not because that food is better, but because districts save money when staff don’t actually have to prepare food, but simply reheat it. School have moved away from having actual kitchens, and staff who know how to use kitchens to cook actual foods. The governmental agencies involved here couldn’t care less and most food service personnel buy their foods from US Foods distributors. Nowhere does this food get labeled “foreign” and there would be no mechanism for schools to even consider foreign vs domestic foods. Most of the frozen food available is made in Milwaukee. Now, I ran a small school...and the school had a huge, fabulously kitted out kitchen. When I took over, I fed cases of Chef Boy r Dee raviolis (which look and smell surprisingly similar to dog food) to my dogs, after I used my money to buy it from the school. I replaced that canned food and the frozen cardboard pizza with real food, nothing frozen, all fresh and taught my staff how to cook meals which met the dietary guidelines, and the kids started lining up for lunch and brought their parents, and little brothers and sisters, and their abuelas to our school and loved our lunches. And, as a side note that school had more than enough federal dollars to run the kitchen the way a kitchen is meant to be run. We gave money back to the federal government at the end of the year. The biggest difficulty we faced was that fresh food has surprisingly fewer calories than frozen and it was hard to serve enough fresh to meet the caloric guidelines. We gave them seconds. Did the trick.
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    Fiscal responsibility. The public Treasury is NOT a piggy bank used to purchase votes.
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    This bill is a little misleading. The justification offered is the concern for food borne illnesses from foreign countries, yet there is no specific cases offered as it relates to schools. While acknowledging that the same US (specifically California) product is more expensive, we should support American purchases. However, while the current program allows limited exceptions, they want to make it a more formal process with waivers. Question: If there is really an issue with foreign food borne illnesses, is this not a larger issue to be addressed? Maybe I am missing something, but this appears to be strong arm tactic by representatives from California.
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    Yes, but only after the Whole Grain Standards are re-established. And only until such time as international trade relations are NOT under fire.
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    Homegrown! Have school garden patches where you can! As a parent, I think it’d be incredible to watch a playground green up with my kiddo during the summer! Get the community together to can that stuff up according to USDA guidelines
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    With the recent wave of "natural" disasters, fires, etc., It's crucial that we have options for produce, meat, and grains. That's why we have free trade with places like Chilé, to ensure we have a viable option for nutrition.
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    Yes. Numerous farms have been devastated by drought, fires and flooding. If the U.S. is unable to provide sufficient food for the school lunch programs, by all means a waiver should be granted.
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    What happened to our free market system in America? Republicants embrace the free market system only when it is to their advantage. Mostly they ignore free market ideals in order to prop up their corporate masters with subsidies and other corporate handouts.
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    Why wouldn't we want our kids to benefits from the safety regulations we have implemented in our country, while at the same time supporting our agriculture industry? It seems like a win-win, unless I'm missing something here.
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    Must we have mass government involvement and oversight in every aspect of our society?
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    We need our own agricultural products in our schools - not Monsanto producers and not food from overseas. We need healthy choices to grow the bodies and minds of our greatest resource- our nations children.
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    Why would waivers be required? If you need fresh vegetables and fruit, it might be from Mexico. Avocados anyone?
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    How about we just do what's best for the kids and make sure they have affordable nutritious meals.
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