Healthier Lunches a Too Expensive Luxury?

By: MARY CLARE JALONICK - Associated Press Writer
By: MARY CLARE JALONICK - Associated Press Writer

Eating healthy food isn't always cheap, and some conservative lawmakers in Congress are concerned that the Obama administration's effort to make school lunches more nutritious is a luxury the nation can't afford.

Many schools, especially the poorest ones, agree. They say new rules issued by the Agriculture Department in January will require them to buy pricier foods and more equipment at a time when federal and state budgets are tight and food costs are rising.

The Agriculture Department estimates that the new menus will cost an additional 14 cents a meal. A spending bill approved this week in the House Appropriations Committee estimates that the new lunch rules could cost schools an additional $7 billion over five years.

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