Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica Ziehm

April 12, 2011

Council On Food Policy Comments on School Meals Proposal

Commissioner is Encouraged with USDA’s Proposed Rules, Makes Recommendations

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine, who also serves as Chair of the New York State Council on Food Policy, issued his comments and recommendations on USDA’s proposed rules to revise the meal patterns and nutrition requirements for the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.

On behalf of the New York State Council on Food Policy, Commissioner Aubertine said, “In general, we are very encouraged to see the proposed increases in the amount of fruits, vegetables and grains in the meal patterns. As a strong agricultural state, we hope to continue meeting those needs with locally grown products to the maximum extent possible. Ensuring that all New Yorkers, and especially children, have access to affordable, nutritious foods is a key tenet of the New York State Council on Food Policy. Thus concern exists that some requirements may have unintended and substantially damaging effects on school food service personnel’s ability to operate, and causing the most needy of children to not have access to federal meal programs.” 

The proposed rules by USDA would increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free fluid milk in schools; reduce the levels of sodium and saturated fat in meals; and help meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. 
The Council’s comments and recommendations address proposed rules including limiting starchy vegetables in school lunches that may impact a school food service director’s ability to serve a fresh ear of New York State corn in the same week as New York State potatoes and peas.  The Council also comments on the proposed new milk standards for school meal programs that may impact the availability of appropriate local milk products in the timeframe suggested.  A copy of the Council’s full recommendations can be found at

The mission of the New York State Council on Food Policy is to develop food policies that will increase adequate access to affordable, nutritious, local and safe food for all New Yorkers, especially for children, seniors and other at-risk populations; and to protect and expand agricultural food production in the State.

2011 Press Releases