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H.R. 1504 (114th): Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 19, 2015.

Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act

This bill prohibits the Department of Agriculture (USDA) from implementing, administering, or enforcing a specified regulation, or promulgating or enforcing any new rule or regulation, establishing a maximum calorie limit or quantity of grains, meat, or meat alternatives for the school lunch program.

USDA may not implement, administer, or enforce specified rules and regulations with respect to any school food authority that certifies to its state that it: (1) has calculated the costs of complying with such rules and regulations; and (2) has determined, in a manner consistent with school district operational procedures, that it cannot operate a food service program without incurring increased costs for complying with those rules and regulations.

Those rules and regulations are:

the rule entitled "National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010"; any new rule regarding foods sold in schools that are not foods provided under the school lunch or breakfast programs; a specified regulation and any new rule or regulation regarding school lunch price increases; and a specified regulation and any new rule or regulation which establishes new food-based meal patterns, nutrition standards, or meal planning approaches for the school breakfast program. USDA may not define the phrase "costs of complying" or establish or suggest how a school food authority is to calculate those costs or increased costs for complying.

The prohibitions will remain in effect until a law is enacted that extends by at least five fiscal years the authorization or duration of one or more school lunch or breakfast programs.

The bill amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to prohibit USDA from implementing any regulation that would require a reduction in the quantity of sodium contained in federally reimbursed meals, foods, and snacks sold in schools below specified July 2014 maximum levels allowed in school breakfasts for school year 2014-2015.

With respect to grain contents, USDA shall only require that half of all grains in such food items are whole grain-rich. School food authorities must comply with the applicable grain component or standard with respect to the school lunch or school breakfast program in effect before July 1, 2014.