School lunch will never be the same again. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing new nutrition standards that are expected to take effect in 2012. With the new standards, schools would have to double the required serving of fruits and vegetables daily. They would also have to serve dark green and orange vegetables and limit the amount of potatoes and other starchy vegetables. Mid Prairie and Keota Superintendent Mark Schneider says they are already working on improving the quality of their school lunches. He says they went so far as to buy produce at the auctions in Frytown for the school lunch. According to the USDA, schools would also have to cut the sodium content of meals by more than half over 10 years to combat cardiovascular disease. However, Schneider says to lower the sodium content, they will need the cooperation of food suppliers. He says the new standards have hit the budget, and they have had to increase the prices of meals, but have found that parents are willing to pay more for lunch for the increase in nutrition.
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