K-12 Blog

Politico: Food Fight Starting Early Over School Lunch Rules

Posted: March 11, 2014

“Keeping intact a 2010 rewrite of a law that dictates what kids eat in school — from the number of carrots to the amount of salt in their shepherd’s pie — could be a major challenge as some in Congress are already angling for a rollback…

“Many of the changes included in the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act have yet to be implemented, and reauthorization of the law is more than a year away. But the food industry and school associations are already lobbying to eliminate key provisions that have been perpetually under contention, such as sodium limits and minimum fruit requirements…

“The time is ripe: Several major supporters of the updated standards are set to retire and the political climate for 2015 remains foggy…

“‘We just want to see if we can push for a couple of more reforms,” said Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio). “It’s all about the flexibility and making sure that schools aren’t held to this unattainable standard which causes them to throw away a lot of food and causes them to increase their costs…

“‘Industry is in full support of the regulations in terms of the message itself — more nutritious food for our kids in the cafeteria,’ said Gary Vonck, vice president of the education division for KeyImpact, a food-service sales and marketing agency. ‘Our concern comes with the complexity of the regulations. There’s a certain amount of sodium that’s needed to process food. There’s a lot of talk about made from scratch, but that’s not feasible.’

“‘We are looking for common-sense tweaks.'”

To read the full story on Politico, click here

About the Author:


Gary Vonck

VP - Education Division

Gary Vonck has been with KeyImpact since 2007, adding to an impressive 40-year foodservice career. His knowledge and passion for child nutrition are unsurpassed. Gary oversees the Education Division, which includes sales, bid, and commodity teams across the entire nation.

Gary is an active member of the SNA and was the first and only broker/agency representative on the School Nutrition Association’s Industry Advisory Board, as the appointed Industry Representative, in 2008 and again 2014. Gary has also served on numerous SNA Task Forces and co-chaired several SNA events. Gary was also on the NSFMI national advisory council. In January 2013, Gary was awarded the Silver Friend of Child Nutrition FAME Award.

Gary Vonck is based in Illinois and can be reached at gvonck@kisales.com.