WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Bakers Association (ABA) applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s steps in allowing local operators to apply for waivers to the whole grains requirement when facing procurement challenges, as well as adjustments to the sodium reduction requirement timeline.
“ABA has been on the forefront in urging the agency to incorporate grain flexibility for USDA school meals programs,” said ABA SVP, Government Relations & Public Affairs Lee Sanders. “It is vital to provide school meal program operators with the ability to seek relief from hardships in procuring products that are compliant with the current standard.”
This interim rule will allow providers to integrate food items for which exemptions are most commonly requested, including enriched grain goods. Grains-rich staples such as bread, buns, tortillas and pasta can be made more easily available for inclusion into student meals where food diversity may be hard to achieve.
“Allowing a greater variety of baked goods and other grain-based foods will add more options to meals offered to American students of diverse backgrounds and ensure that more children are achieving the serving goals set by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” said Sanders.
About the American Bakers Association:
The American Bakers Association (ABA) is the Washington D.C.-based voice of the wholesale baking industry. Since 1897, ABA has represented the interests of bakers before the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and international regulatory authorities. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 1,000 baking facilities and baking company suppliers. ABA members produce bread, rolls, cookies, crackers, bagels, sweet goods, tortillas and many other wholesome, nutritious, baked products for America’s families. The baking industry generates more than $153 billion in economic activity annually and employs more than 799,500 highly skilled people.
Source: American Bakers Association