tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 5, 2014 1:00am-3:01am EDT
hammarabis, i'm not always a fan, but the fact you have those nations getting into the act that far from their region is remarkable and suggests there's real capacity out there to be used. >> another question, this young lady here. my apologies to this side, you're on my blind side. i'll come back to you. >> hi. my question is about counterering the ideology. as you all mentioned, last huge need for it but i attended congressional hearings and there's not a single person at the state department who knows the koran who knows the verses of the koran. all these different countries. i just wrote down a few, glanced at a koran and wrote down a few words that might be help nfl our messaging campaign, like 17:33, don't take life. allah is full of loving kindness. i don't see the kindness coming out of isis.
pray for forgiveness for everybody on earth which includes non-muslims. 42:5. if allah wanted all the world tore muslims he would have made it such. you cannot compel mankind against their will to convert. why can't we have these verses plastered on the twitter feeds or whenever they come up with -- like you can address the ideology, 9% of muslims are people and these guys have been isusing our religion and i don't understand why we can't get the funding. the verses. if you're harsh hearted, people will leave you, don't be severe. >> we need you and people like you. we need you and people like you in the united states government, right, to be able to lead that kind of a campaign. you're exactly right. i don't disagree with what you're saying.
it's not just an issue of funding. it's an issue of people and expertise and attracting those people. >> isn't part of of the problem that the u.s. government isn't equipped or constitutionally able to advocate anything in terms of religion. >> i think there are plenty of people who know the koran. but a number of years of hard experience have shown that the united states is a secular nation and should not be telling muslim what is is true islam and what is not. that's a losing marketing campaign. we can say a lot of things about what is basic human dignity and what is deeply immoral like killing large numbers of people or killing in particular large numbers of muslims but it's really, to follow up on what mike said, it's really for muslim countries to discuss what true islam is. we're not in position to take that mission on. >> just keep in mind that the u.s. government actually created the first special represent toiv muslim communities, to address
muslim communities. not from a religious standpoint but community basis. last question and i apologize that this has to be the last one. let's go with this lady in the iddle, please. >> kind of going off the first question, which he was talking about nation and government building, you say a result of the aggressive tactics is destroying the infrastructure then water, the electricity, the economy of these nations which in the past as in iraq has shown that this creates resurgence of these terrorist organizations. is aggressive pressure on these nations the best thing or should they tackle that infrastructure and rebuild it instead? >> mike, fran, is it one of the challenges here the fact that if
you double down, you use more military assets, you're destroying insfra structure that is going to be important. >> there's no question, i will tell you, having been intimately involved in it in iraq about the time, effort, and attention we spent rebuilding infrastructure, electricity in particular, you mentioned water, i'm glad you did. i will tell you, i think 10 years from now, our successors will be talking about water as a national security issue. whether it's scarcity, whether it's the lack of water, people will fight over water. we've seen it, islamic state is using water as leverage against populations, not just the mosul dam in iraq but also in syria. i think this is going to be growing problem. we did try to address, i can speak specifically to iraq. but that must be part of a phase four operation and we were struggling with it when i was in the white house. >> ok. unfortunately we don't have time for more questions. we're going to move to the final
section of the debate which is the policy recommendations and conclusions from each side that ask each side, you have three minutes to lay out your policy recommendations. mike and fran, we'll turn to you first. >> i think you have to build capacity in all the frontline states against al qaeda. and you have to extend the resources to do that. you then have to encourage those states to use that capacity to deal with extremists inside their border. one of the things that happened with the arab spring is it reduced the willingness of some states to deal with extremists in their border. egypt is a great example of that you should mor see. then you have to encourage our artners, and i'm a big supporter of what the emirate did in lib ark we need to worry about libya more than we have
been. but we need to encourage our partners to do more. what the ethiopians and others did in somalia was an important thing. we need to support that action. then we need to do whatever action we need to do on top of all that to keep the pressure on the terrorists. >> look, what mike is saying is critically important. i do think you need an international coalition. i think more than encourage partners, we've got to be clear about what our expectations are and what our needs are. what they -- they are in a ewe -- what they are uniquely in position to do that we are not. we have to be crystal clear. that's why it's so important, goals and objectives clearly stated by the president about what it is we seek to achieve and private, bilateral conversations with our partners in the region about what we need them to do to achieve that. there's tremendous capability in the region, both with intelligence, military assets, as you've heard, and so we need
to be clear with our partners about what our expectations are and then we need to be sure that when we talk about this, the things that we are going to do, that we're going to take on that we fund them and that execution is impeccable. >> dan, your recommendation as to what to do or not to do? >> you know, 5% of our nation's life has been spent in this campaign. and we're 13 years into it. and the conversation about doubling down now has transitioned to encourage partners and build capacity which sounds like a pair of 10's. that's not doubling down. we have matured to understand that there are other instruments to use. everybody here pays taxes, everybody has kids or in my days no kids but 10 nieces and nephews. we want to be exceptional in other areas and there's only a certain number of things the president and this country can do. we are not exceptional. middle of the pack in science and math among kids.
not terrific with infant mortality. not terrific with life expectancy. what do we expect in this american experiment, that is, give our kids an education and be healthy. we can't perform exceptionally in the fundamentals of this country and we want to double down on a campaign when we've already realized in multiple circumstances that a targeted approach succeeds in blunting threat. i've got a three-letter word for you and that is, why? thanks. >> dan. >> i agree with everything that's been said. >> the diplomat in the room. >> but i would add to that, and i think you probably have gotten the message that we're not all that far apart on a lot of these points. i think the most important thing right now is to calm down and take a deep breath. isis is not burning down an american city in the next 48 hours as some of the discourse in washington and on the airwaves has suggested. i strongly believe that we can
handle this. i do believe that if not handled, it would be a dangerous threat over the long term. and i think that it's time for us to continue the work that i think has been going on for four years, which is trying to get the counterterrorism element in our foreign policy right. because we're going through a pretty healthish summer. ukraine, that's a -- a pretty hellish summer. ukraine, that's a big issue. and there's another issue that isn't on the front pages quite as much, and that is china. that's a growing big issue. they're saying very aggressive things about taiwan right now. before we think about sending the first division back into iraq, i think we really need to take a very deep breath and think about how we match our means and our resources to our goals and what our priorities are. one -- you know, one foreign
fighter coming to the u.s. and going crazy with a gun is not going to bring the country down. we have to defend against it. we have to do the best we can. but we need to start thinking again about what our grand strategy looks like and how we deal with the various challenges we face. >> wonderful. as i said, i'm going to turn to you and ask two questions. the first is did you learn something today that -- that has affected your opinion in some way. raise your hand. wonderful. did your opinion change as a result of this debate? raise your hand. interesting. interesting. regardless of that -- [laughter] >> at a minimum, you've been informed. and at a minimum, perhaps entertained. and i want to thank again ambassador volcker, the mccain
institute, arizona state university for hosting this. i thank you for attending. follow the mccain institute in its many debates and >> a hearing on childhood obesity. hearing between jerry brown and neil askari area coming up on friday. a discussion between -- on the russia andp between the u.s.. on friday, a look at the
implications of the israeli conflict. live on c-span two. here's a message from what the student cam competition winners. >> the nsa. who is it? what does it do? it was hard to answer these questions between her -- before nsa leaked documents. bulk data is doing collection of americans' emailw. it is not limited to people with probable cause. it is a bold collection of data. >> the nsa is very controversial. the only way to resolve the conflict is if congress puts this as the number one issue in
2014. >> jurors wednesday during washington journal for the 2015 documentary competition. virginia governor and his wife were convicted of corruption charges. the attorney for the eastern district spoke to reporters after the verdict. attorneyse of purdy -- said they will appeal. sentencing this scheduled -- forencing is scheduled october 6. with me as special agent in charge at him only. -- adam lee. difficult and disappointing day for the commonwealth and its citizens.
we have little choice but to prosecute the case. the trial team in this case that you saw. they were tremendous. also, assistant attorney general lessee -- leslie caldwell. our partners on this case. finally, i would like to thank the men and women of the fbi. police anda state the irs. they were our partner in every respect on this case. trial, thee of the preparation and investigation was remarkable. thank you. especially from the judge who will say a few things.
>> i want to echo what david said. for is a challenging case our team and for the come wealth. i want to think the u.s. -- thank the attorney office for their professionalism. the virginia state police for their partnership. i think this case sends an important message. vigorouslyl engage with any other nation of corruption. is the top terminal priority. cases like this are important. with that, i want to thank my team who has worked tirelessly on this case and again, dana and
his team. clerks would -- >> what would you say the conspiracy was, that allege you to seal the investigation? >> we are not going to take questions. it has been a long five weeks. i'm sure you are anxious to get home. on friday, c-span's american history to her features the westward expansion including the lewis and clark exhibition. here is a look. a lot of times we see them circling the wagons. verne -- rarely if ever did that happen. few deaths along the trail had anything to do with the indians. the indians help to more than hurting them. disease,rs came from
which killed about 10% of the people who went west. mostly cholera. also things like drowning. accidental deaths by gunshots. being run over by a wagon. happen to a lot of kids climbing on the wagon. the wheels would roll over them. there is a grim side to this mass migration. it is kind of unprecedented. we are talking over 300,000 people during the. in question who packed up everything and went west. americanday, the thestreet to her on westward expansion. we will explore the lewis and clark expedition. the creation of the first transcontinental railroad and the so-called lack of okies --
>> good morning. we are excited about this hearing. welcome to each of you. saying,e to begin by back in the room, we want to do a hearing every week on school nutrition. we have been given a lot of great food. -- >> we have mushroom and the meat balls. i feel like i am on the food channel. these are excellent.
we thank senator casey, who will .e joining us we will learn about what half a cup looks like. some apple slices. duration.e for the we can last a while for this morning. wonderfulend my cafeteria folks, but we did not eat like this when i was in school. delicious food this morning. we are appreciative of everyone being here for the second talkng and to be able to to those in the trenches working hard to make things happen in the right way for our children let me start by saying what we all know. according to the center for disease control, obesity has doubled in the last 30 years.
that is why the discussion is so important. more than four times as high for teenagers. that is why we are involved and this is a priority. one -- one out of three children is obese or overweight. we spent health care dollars treating obesity related illnesses. heard first hearing, we jarring testimony from a military general. 75% of our youth cannot qualify for military service. 75%. a corner in this country by offering healthy food choices in schools and teaching healthy eating habits, we will not only improve the health of our children but our country's long-term economic and national security as well. we will examine the way
community leaders are meeting the needs of our children every day. by working together to serve healthy meals. we have heard the jokes of school meals. fish sticks and mystery meat. tacos. cafeterias full of deep fryers. i know those are gone in detroit. those days are over. i have visited many schools and i am happy to see children enjoying hockley and salad bars. the good news is this is not just happening in michigan but in schools across the country. servingeeing schools
turkey burgers and burritos packed with vegetables and whole grains. students toouraging eat healthier by showing them how they can taste good. they are not only enjoying the food at school but beginning to ask for it at home. i have talked to brochures who, on different days, have said he ran out of different vegetables or fruits and could not figure out what was going on. werewas the date they being served at school and the kids are going home and asking for it. really interesting. this is so important when you look at where we are in terms of childhood obesity. we can only make important changes of our friends and partners in the food industry, nonprofit organizations, state and federal organizations, classrooms all work together. we will hear how schools are providing these fundamental foundational meals every day
workthe ingredients -- the each of our witnesses does represents a key ingredient in helping our schools rise to the challenge of feeding children. as we know, this is not an easy task. the goal of reducing childhood hunger and obesity is two important too important. we are looking about how to work together. the challenges in providing access to healthy foods and the solutions that are there to address many of these concerns. thank you again. i went to turn to my distinguished ranking member and friend, senator cochran. >> thank you very much. attendance ofthe all who are due today -- here today. especially that we have two
witnesses on our panel from mississippi to discuss the programs, school feeding programs and other programs inated to our interest federal support for good programs that increase efficiency and provide benefits for nutrition and physical soundness. that we need in our country. i think we can continue to improve on the federal role. this hearing also has a purpose. suggestions from our witnesses are welcomed and encouraged. we think there should be local flexibility to accommodate from thense concerns administrator's of the local level.
changes inions for federal legislation to underlying legislation supporting these programs is welcomed and we appreciate your participation with us in this endeavor. thank you. >> thank you. very much. i know, senator cochran, you have two distinguished representatives from mississippi. we will introduce our members. at the appropriate point to introduce your guest's, we want you to do that. welcome to put opening statements into the record but we will proceed with the testimony. very pleased to introduce our first witness. eddie wiggins, the executive director for the detroit public schools.
she has helped the district develop 77 school gardens. i haven't seen all of them but i have seen a number. they are throughout the city, supported by the farm to school program. the improve the local community by serving minimally processed and locally produced foods. in 2000, she was the chief of food service administration for schools and the c. -- in washington, d.c.. she also served as a chair for local businesses that were to increase local access for seller and commercial buyers of food. now i will turn to senator cochran to introduce our next witness. it is mychairman, pleasure to present mr. scott clemons, director of the office
of healthy schools in mississippi. aid federalrs intrusion programs including the national school lunch, food service, and child and adult care food programs. his office directs several school related health programs. he has 14 years of experience. he is the past president of the nutrition association. he has served on the usda child nutrition state systems working group. do i also introduce dr. wilson? she is the executive director of the food service management institute at the university of mississippi and not heard. in oxford.in -- she serves as associate professor at the university as well.
she holds numerous academic degrees in food science, nutrition, and related fields. she has 23 years of experience as a director. she also has served as president of the school nutrition association. i am pleased they can both be here to help us review these proposals for legislation on nutrition programs administered by the federal government. >> thank you. there pleased to have president of the school nutrition association. director ofthe school and community nutrition programs at jefferson county public schools in kentucky. where meals to 100,000 students are served at 144 schools. she was a sales manager for
three different food manufacturers prior to that. -- nabisco, campbell soup since joining in 1994, she has overseen the development of kitchenl condition -- and has leveraged the community by enlisting the help of a chef toional shop -- develop recipes. finally, we are pleased to have the president and ceo of copper canyon farm. he oversees a family produce business. you don't look that old. [laughter] that is pretty good.
»¿ welcome to all of you and let me remind you we ask to you limit your comments to five minutes. we welcome any other written testimony and information you'd like to give us but in the interest of time and we have a vote at 11:00 today. we want to make sure we have ample time to move through and ask questions. welcome. >> i am the executive director of detroit public schools office of nutrition. i am here to address the health and well being of america's children. there are young americans who we are all privileged to serve.
i'm grateful to you for the constructive tone of this committee's deliberations on this important issue. the trials and triblaugses of detroit are well known n. a district with declining enrollment and closings in ecent years i have the privilege of over seeing meals to children. most eat breakfast and lunch and some super within our facilities. our work makes a difference in their lives and our community. ours it was first school district in the country to make breakfast available. supported by studies showing eating breakfast and improving academic performance. we provide free hot cooked food to all students all schools.
we include a healthy array of fresh bunch tables and fruits, 100% fruit juices and low-fat milk. we also have low risk. in detroit, we warmly welcome higher nutrition standards from the 2010 health and kids hunger act. this has prompted us to institute changes that are making a conscious difference in the life of children and employees. this provides a framework for several other provisions of the legislation including additional training opportunities and equipment and purchasing assistance. it is the improve nutrition standards that have allowed us to introduce new equipment in our kitchens. produce washers, salad bars, vegetable steamer, and deep fat fryer's are obsolete. nutrition standards are a force for positive change, a force that we see a necessity for the lifelong health and well-being of our children.
in addition to new equipment, our food distribution partners find the product we need to provide quality food that our children need. they have become determined to meet our improved standards. they are helping us meet the new regulatory requirements. we are serving the nutritional needs and our children. 87% of our children in detroit are eligible for free school meals. i have discovered through my career that hunger and malnutrition is not confined to low income families who. food insecurity is common for the kids at the end of the cul-de-sac as it is the urban treet corners. this allows high poverty schools like those in our district to provide breakfast and lunch to all students free of charge increasing efficiency, reach,
reducing hunger. it delivers benefits through reducing the administrative burden resulting from the elimination of paper application. the increased male participation rates allow me to capture economy to scale while the savings generated covers the cost of providing meals to children who might otherwise pay. in proving the overall stability, as you are likely aware, they are now participating in cep. the work of the committee is making a critical positive impact on these lives each and every day. nother direct benefit of the improve nutrition standards for
michigan grown. they farm our products. as vice chair the local food association, the only trade association for buyers and sellers, we produce local sustainable food. i'm doing my part to increase he share of local farmers. we are increasing our children's exposure to fresh food and lifelong habits to improve quality of life. in addition for nearby farms and school programs, we have the additional benefit of delivering education opportunity in the cafeteria, the classroom by participating in opportunities. dps and community partners initiated creating gardens at the school.
expanding access to real life laboratories to teach children about healthy eating, nutrition, and being conscious of growing food. the garden beds are built by the children and thereby having ccess to food. these sites can become garden centers. we have a 2.5 acre farm. we are also engaged in development of the tendering project, the repurchasing of a closed high school site. in conclusion, the recent shared progress toward improving school nutrition programs represents a solid value proposition for the nation. as leaders responsible, we must scale our focus away from the process of change to emphasize
the progress enabled by these new policies. institutional changes difficult and often times near impossible. it takes time and includes short-term discomfort. the efforts prompted by improved standards have and will continue to generate valuable returns. after short-term pains, it pales in comparison to the reform highly desirable and attainable. nine out of 10 school districts are already in compliance with the new standard. hank you again for the
opportunity to be with you, chairwoman stabenow, and as a michigan resident i want to say how proud and grateful we are for your leadership on this issue. >> we are so pleased to have you here today. mr. clements, we welcome you as well. >> thank you very much. chairwoman stabenow, ranking member cochran, my name is scott clements for the office of healthy schools from the mississippi department of education. on behalf of our thousands of food service workers, thank you for this opportunity to speak to you today. i have a few mississippi initiatives i would like to discuss, the statewide purchasing cooperatives. he first nutrition statewide purchasing entity in the country that began in 1992 and is an effort to lower costs and simplify procurement. the majority of school district in mississippi are river lay
located. both product prices were high due to the limited buying power of the district. by pooling together the buying power of almost every school in our state, we can better utilize the economy of scale inherent with large volume purchasing allowing us to provide. we issue bids for related supplies in excess of 130 million dollars per year. due to the high volume, we are able to negotiate prices and having only delivery fees associated with the items. currently, we have 183 organizations with almost 1000 delivery sites.
he majority of the participating organizations are public schools and all but two of the district in the state purchase a paid. we have a number of head starts and governmental agencies also participating in the national school lunch program. we are not allowed to use usda expense funds to pay for his. the cooperative is self unded. we charge about half a penny for every lunch served for all costs associated. we order and distribute about
$16 million in usda donated oods annually. through the purchasing cooperative we have a statewide delivery system in place able to further reduce the costs of the organization by having the foods delivered by the same manufacturers, same brokers. we've made use of both buying power and distribution network of the cooperative to help face challenges implementing farm to school programs. many of our states most abundant crops -- cotton and soybeans -- cannot go to the table. then we have many of our most plentiful crops have harvests during the summer when school is not in session. to assist schools and farmers, we work with the department of defense and the mississippi department of agriculture to bring locally grown products to schools through the state. in year 2014 and 2015 we will have about $1 million worth of ocally grown produce delivered through our office. another initiative was to meet the new sodium requirements. when first announced, products did not exist to make it vailable for schools to meet the sodium requirements and
still have nutritious and appetizing meals to maintain participation. the cooperative again played a role able to play a role -- we were able to get a chef at a national manufacturer to produce a no low-sodium spice blend. we have three available now. they are now available to schools through the united states. we also supply schools with 50 standardize recipes to incorporate the new spice blends to reduce sodium in the school meals. the last thing i would like to talk about our school meals, recipes, and menus. since 1996, mississippi cycles is a coordinated program of sample menus and recipes the schools could implement to meet nutrition standards. that was updated in 2005. with the new healthy hunger-free kids act, that system no longer works. the menu planning was more complex so we pulled together a task force in created mississippi recipes for success. we have matrices, standardized menus, an online program that's available to any school that
would like to participate. this was all in response to the complex menu planning. we filled the small schools do not have the resources to implement them by hemselves. pardon me. the last piece of that, mississippi recipes for success, we have standardized ingredients all across the border and that's been a benefit to us when it comes to the administrative review which are more frequent now than they used to be. by having all of these pieces together it simplifies the process making it possible to meet the new standards. thank you for the opportunity to appear before this committee. i would be happy to provide additional information as needed. >> thank you very much. ms. bauscher, we are so glad you are here.
>> thank you, ranking member stabenow. on behalf of the 55,000 members of the school nutrition association we are talking about strengthening nutrition programs. they're recognizing the importance of the academic success of students which is why we have expanded our school breakfast options, increased summer feeding sites, launched new supper oh grams. we have worked diligently to improve school menus and we support most of the new regulations. we are making a variety and making limits on calories and fat while reducing sodium. we are making healthier choices. school nutrition professionals
are truly committed to the healthy hunger free kids act and its goal of expanding access to school meals. that's why we're so concerned about the historic klein in student lunch participation. for 30 years, the national school lunch program has grown teadily. under the new requirements, student participation is abruptly down in 49 states. more than one million jews school lunch each day even though student enrollment in participating schools -- than one million choose school lunch each day.
if this trend continues, the school cafeteria will no longer be a place where all students dying and learn healthy habits together. despite our best efforts, schools have struggled with student acceptance of new options and many have been challenged to find whole-grain rich tortillas almond biscuits, crackers and other specialty items. they complained the pasta and bread are burned, tough, or taste strange. they have a different flavor than what they might find at home or in their favorite restaurant. food companies serving schools that introduce new schools meeting all of the standard tastes that some of these are not widely available or affordable. schools with low and reduced availability face unique challenges because paid meal
participation declines have a greater impact on their budget. in states like colorado, minnesota, new york, illinois, some schools are dropping out of the program rather than meeting he requirements. they do not have the option or desire to leave the program. the school nutrition association found that 47% of school meal programs reported revenue decline while nine out of 10 reported food costs were up. the federal reimbursement rate for serving a free lunch emma just over three dollars, they're required to serve for less than what most people pay for their morning coffee. it leaves little more than a dollar for the food on each lunch tray. food, especially those required, is getting more expensive. despite significant increases in price over the last year, the reimbursement rate adjustment was actually smaller than the previous year. each half pint of milk alone will cost me one nickel more exceeding the four sent ncrease.
we appreciate every penny received but this does not cover doubling the amount of fruit. now they must take a fruit or vegetable whether they intend to eat it or not. much of this costly produce ends up in the trash. s schools struggle to manage rising costs and waste, what once was a problem is rapidly becoming a problem for school district. we cannot cover annual losses so chool district talk to pick up our tab. this can cut into district educational funds. this fall, schools face more challenges as they work to meet more smart snacks in school rules. some have had to strip healthy options from the a look cart issues because of strict sodium issues. -- a la cart options. the 55,000 members of the school nutrition association wants to continue to be part of the onversation as the committee
i'm dr. katie wilson, executive director of the national food service management institute at the university of mississippi. i appreciate the chance to share our outreach with you today. we're meeting at a time of unprecedented coverage. school meal programs are not only part of the vital safety net but as a past school director in wisconsin, i believe it is the best safety net for children. the child is assured access to the food. school meal programs should also serve as learning tools educating what a healthy meal looks like. we operate in the education arena so school meals must be a part of that process. each of us in this hearing room is struggling to balance the idea of what a school meal should consist of. n a learning exchange with united kingdom, i have come to learn that the nutrition standards instituted through the u.k. years ago are still actively progressing the health and well-being of students. they have seen an increase in dental caries. the school food advisor from the u.k. is here as a church hill fellow. she can lend more details after the hearing is there is more nterest.
this is of interest to everyone. the numerous resources available from the national food service management institute, also known as the institute. the institute is the only federally funded national center dedicated to assisting child nutrition professionals. authorized by congress in section 21 of the school lunch act funded by the department of agriculture and other outside foundations. training and assistance is available in a variety of formats. we have over 20 training topics on inventory control in male pattern training in face to face
ormat. we have provided face-to-face training for over 7000 child nutrition rational through the u.s. and its territories in the 2012 to 2013 reporting eriod. one specific example of this included the healthy cuisine kids culinary class. a two day training taught by a chef and registered dietitian. it is offered whenever an agency requested. in california, they organized over 10 of these culinary classes with total participants. these are hands-on classes offering school attrition professionals the opportunity to learn new culinary skills and refreshed the ones they already have. all face-to-face topics are available in the same
manner. all curriculum is also available to download free of charge for districts to use within the runtime frame and convenience in an easy to use manner. e have information on how to best use usda food, nor a virus, and others. they are easy to access from your computer or tablet all free of charge. a certificate of completion comes out after they complete the course and passes it quiz with a 70% learning rate. in the 2012-2013 reporting period, thousands went through training at the institute.
we want to expand that number as we finish our report free of charge. technical assistance is available free of charge if a district requested. we hire a consultant based on the area of expertise needed and help the district come into compliance in whatever area they need. we worked in two district in kansas and are presently working with new york city in personal technical assistance. this is all free of charge. school meals have become a focus point for many in this country. the institute and other allied organizations provide great resources as they work to provide high quality, nutritious meals being served. it has become more and more challenging to feed the consumer-savvy population, it's important to realize our job. a child will learn lifelong eating habits during their
tenure. in closing, i want to thank the senate for providing leadership and your commitment to children and child nutrition programs. i'm happy to answer any questions. >> mr. phil muir, welcome. we are glad to have you. >> thank you, chairwoman stabenow. i'm the president and ceo of a farm in salt lake city. thank you for inviting me here today and calling attention to the critical issue of school nutrition. i am compassionate about making a difference in the nutrition of our school aged children. muir copper canyon farms provides fresh fruits and vegetables to 52 rural and urban school district in utah, idaho, and western wyoming with a total enrollment of 450,000. we are the usda-dod prime vendor for these schools and indian reservations in these three states. we provide them with fresh fruits and vegetables for the program, school lunch, school breakfast, and the summer feeding programs.
schools are about 15% of our company revenue. muir copper canyon farms is a member of a cooperative of 70 produce distributors across north america who leverage our purchasing power together to make the most price effect to, quality assured, food safe purchases possible. we are also a member of the united fresh produce association and i serve on its nutrition and health council. we have a saying at muir copper canyon farms. our school customers deserve the best. success to us is students eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, going home, and telling their parents about the new fruits and vegetables they've tried at school, and help to improve their families eating habits. we consider ourselves more than just a supplier or a bid winner. we are a partner with our school customers. our goal is to be a solution provider through information, training, consultation assisting's rules to
successfully implement all of the fruit and vegetable requirements. our staff meets with our school customers to discuss the new fruit and vegetable items together, seasonality, buying local, and getting the best value for their limited budget. we provide schools with the fresh pursuit standards and handling guide as a training tool and provide with special training workshops, nutrition education materials, farmber bios, and participate in kickoff events. i highlight a few examples. for the fresh fruit and vegetable program, we work with schools to lower labor and packaging costs while providing them with a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables individually portioned in a system easy to deliver right to the classroom. we have a booth at the utah show each year. in june, we demonstrated how schools could grill fresh vegetables and bite sizes.
when one attendee said they did not have grills in their school and it was not realistic, we showed them how the same results could be achieved using school ovens. we have introduced new dark green leafy salad mixes that are more appealing, nutrient dense, and cost-effective. from our perspective, there are a few key points i want to make. schools that were proactive in introducing -- improving the helpfulness and made incremental changes offering nutrition education are not having problems or experiencing significant increased plate waste. schools that qualify for the program have previously introduced their students to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as part of their lunch program. students eat fresh fruits and vegetables when they are served in great tasting, appetizing manner. the dietary guidelines for
america calls for children and adults to make half their plate fruits and vegetables at every meal. how can you call a school breakfast or lunch a meal if it does not include at least half a cup of fruits or vegetables? after all, it's only half a cup per meal. the produce industry is committed and stands ready to support school food service directors in successfully implementing new nutrition requirements. just last week, myself and other distributors, growers, and united fresh produce associates hosted a fresh produce pavilion at the school nutrition association annual convention in oston. they came to ask questions about writing produce rfp's and how they could procure more fresh roduce and vegetables.
we also presented to educational workshop sessions. all in an effort to assist the school nutrition community. we strongly support the implementation of the healthy hunger free act of 2010, and believe that school children deserve a wide variety of healthy vegetables. they need half a cup of vegetables at every meal. this is about helping american children. thank you for letting me speak. i'm happy to answer any questions. >> thank you very much to all of you for your very important information. we do not have a lot of time, so we want to get as many questions as we can. betty, -- betti, let me start with you. know that i think back to
myself and my kids when they were in school, and things go up and down, and new food comes in and takes time to change, certainly, we all know that change can be a challenge in our own lives. but you said that students are really enjoying the food, particularly the produce, in detroit. i am wondering what you are doing differently that is helping students to want to eat fresh fruits and vegetables? >> we did in detroit. when the 2010 act was passed, i did not wait until 2014 to introduce it to kids. in detroit, we have to do things early. because of the stronger administrative standards, we had to implement them early. when we introduced those items
to children, they ate them raw almond they ate them in their natural state. then we put them on the menu. e also implemented a program that's -- that the children do not have to take all of the items, they just have to take eight cup of fruit. - take a cup of fruit. being from michigan, and apple was primary to introduce. we introduced all varieties of pples. kindergartners then are now fourth-graders. fourth-graders then are eighth-graders now. they know this is what a school meal looks like in detroit during eighth-graders now are 12 graders, and hopefully when they go onto college, they will have had the experience of eating healthy foods. it is really about continuously educating our children, putting
items before them, and using various resources like the department of education can provide less, to get kids to get used to seeing these items on their trays. >> mr. near -- muir, you're talking about getting the best value for the plate. i've used my life watching -- i admit once or twice dumping stuff out myself, i do not think it is knew the kids do that. could you talk about working with rural communities to address the concerns and challenges that have been raised? >> i think that is a good question. first of all, as far as plate waste, we work closely with school districts to limit that.
the best way to fight that is asserting appropriate and appetizing we prepared food -- ppetizingly-prepared food. about 180 miles from salt lake city is the town of cokeville. we get fresh food at an fruits and -- fresh fruits and vegetables to their food ervices. we make fresh fruit availability easy for rural schools as well s urban schools. another rural city is out in the beautiful country, and it takes three separate trucks to get the food there. but we get produce there on a
weekly basis to them too. so produce can be distributed to rural schools. but it does take an extra effort either on the organization's part or on the distributor's part to underpin those small school district. > thank you very much. i don't think i will have the time to get to what i want to, but the amount of time that children have to eat is another issue of concern. i do want, at this point, to congratulate you on your convention, i know our staff was there, it sounds like you had a great convention. you had over 400 vendors that participated. they all demonstrated products that were compliance in -- in order to participate, they had to show products that were
compliance for breakfast, lunch, and food requirements. is that correct? >> yes. we were very fortunate to have many of our industry supporters there to provide a variety of products. again, industry has really stepped up to the plate to provide a product that meets that requirement, that are lower in sodium, and we are very thankful for that. i went straight to produce row on the show floor. i showed them the many new products that produce vendors are offering us. again, our members support the increased quantity of fruits and egetables, the wide variety, but many districts are
struggling with the challenge of procuring those. utah and the areas serviced by mr. meurer are very fortunate. -- by mr. muir are very fortunate. nutrition education is very important on getting children to change their eating habits. >> i just congratulate you on getting 400 vendors there. to get 100% whole grain rich, fruits and vessels, that is a good first step. i thought that was a very impressive first step. at this point, let us turn to senator cochran. >> madams -- madam chair, thank you for your leadership. thank you for the participation of the panel of our witnesses. i want to ask mr. clements, who is director at the mississippi department of education. -- education, what his
experience has been with the use of tools with menu planners, which he created at state levels , and has been prevented through schools throughout our state. what have been your challenges or successes that you could share with the committee and the panel? >> thank you sir. i think the biggest success that we had was that we decided, in 2010, 2, put -- to come up with that -- an aggressive training panel. i think that has been critical for our small school districts to have the tools to implement the changes, like i say, we have an online tool now, but the challenges that we have had
unfortunately have been the complexity of the rules. we -- the expression used in mississippi, i'm sure you will appreciate this cup -- is that what we are tricky from the fire hose sometimes. we would like to clarify the regulation since 2010, and that has been a very big challenge for us. not only to get those at our level and to decide how to implement them, and the last hallenge would be to get our partners at the usda -- who we know works very hard, we need them to get the information to s before the deadline. we have to make our training on what we think is going to be implemented.
sometimes, those policy memos will change at the last inute. granted, we love some of the exemptions that come out, they are very beneficial, but if they come out at the last minute, it is hard for us to pivot during - pivot. >> thank you, thank you, madam chair. >> thank you very senator brown. >> this is a very important discussion, and i appreciate all five of you wayne and the way that you have. i think the testimony from all five of you shows the importance of this. ms. wiggins, i think we acknowledged that. a think dr. wilson's comments on a lifelong eating habits for younger people is important. thank you for all that you are doing to get through this. it makes such a change, and mr.
clements what you are doing, hank you for that. a couple of questions. first one, for dr. wilson. i want to briefly mention the experience of the cincinnati public schools. it is a big school system in our country, and it was the biggest one that started a government food program. they told us that they serve 80,000 meals a day. every school increased the breakfast program, and offered up healing food programs, and they started off the school year with significant profits. how do we, dr. wilson, replicate
that success in other school districts? > thank you, for the question. i think it can be replicated and it has been in other districts as well. essica is another person who tarted work -- started early and didn't wait. it is a voluntary program that started before the meal pattern was put into place, so many schools i got on board, it included nutrition education and physical education, the institute has a training program for class for that, so a lot of those classes started early and they got enrolled early. i know from my experience in wisconsin that fresh fruits and vegetables -- although we did is that we had a mandatory standard for putting out three colors. and the usage of those vegetables skyrocketed because we made them -- we put them out and appealing manner.
when we brought all the 40 argest districts together, and we have these kinds of discussions, but i think if we find in dallas texas, -- dallas, texas, and in los angeles, it works very well. all of these states like mississippi, and other states, they are doing these great things -- they are all on these websites -- kansas is another one that does phenomenal work. it is way ahead of the game, where all of these resources are available to everyone -- free of charge. all of that stuff is available. >> thank you dr. wilson. my wife and i moved into the city of cleveland, the zip code that we lived in had the highest
rates of foreclosure of any zip code in the united states. we know the challenges in urban areas in your city, in my city. e have also seen the cleveland is ranked in the top two or three of any city -- of all cities -- in the country, of urban gardens. i was specifically interested in your comments in urban gardening. talk more about that, and how you -- how the city school system has worked community gardens and urban gardens. translate this into what we can do in cleveland and how others of us can do around the country in urban gardening selling directly to the schools. >> thank you for the question.
one of the things that have been most positive, we at the detroit public schools did not try this by ourselves. i have reached out to community partners. one of my partners had access to farmers, and that i reached out to the state university, biggest agricultural school in the country -- >> [laughter] >> yes, they provided me with farmers, they provided me with information. from that information, we created a plan. we created the detroit school garden collaborative. i reached out to all of the partners. we educated our teachers, and that has been fundamentally important to us by educating the teachers. we have youth garden ambassadors so those products can be taking care of. we we develop our gardens, we make sure that three garden bends -- beds have food that
goes to the schools. our kids would plant zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes. they learn during that process. they learn when they harvest those things. the kids learn how to reduce plate waste. when kids come in, they learn from it. they have shown other kids, and it rates a big source of pride. we now have a local restaurant that has a menu like the detroit school. i worked with them several times and looked at the garden program. it is a commitment to new nutrition standards that made me realize that it read -- that it requires community involvement to make it work. hat is why i see the new
standards as a valuable proposition for our nation's standards. we are trying to stem childhood obesity. >> thanks. thanks every much. before senator leahy puts a statement on the public record, he reminded us for members that were not hear that the pumpkin squares that you have in front f you come from vermont. we also thank senator casey for the mushroom-meat meatballs. we are eating well today. we now turn to senator onnelly. >> thank you for holding this hearing.
if i might start with you, s. bauscher, i found your testimony interesting and very candid and honest about that challenges you are facing. every member in the united states senate visit a lot of schools, we all do. it is a great place to get an honest assessment of things, as you know. when i visit schools -- and i open it up to questions -- these days, over the last few years, one of the common criticisms i hear from kids relates to the school lunch programs. it may be about choices, it may be about food they don't want to eat, it may be they don't get enough to eat, that sort of thing.
it seems to me that whatever we do with all of our good intentions, if we can't sell it to kids, we are fooling ourselves. because it will go on their plates and then it will go into the trash bin. here is what i worry about. i worry that we have thrown so much at schools that we are going to get to a point where participation goes down -- chools will back away from the program, school -- kids will back away from the program, and at the end of the day, we end up with the poor kids eating the school lunch program food because it is free and reduced, and the rest of the kids who have the resources from home to do something else are going to do something else. i'm i'm missing something here
-- m i missing something here? -- am i missing something ere? >> we want meals to be appealing to all students. we want to feed all students. we don't want students who are eligible to free and reduced meals to have a stigma for receiving those meals. we are worker he hard. i would betty -- betti. i made changes early and often. i cultivated community partners, but that is still a challenge to assure that our meals are appealing to all students. that is why i think some flexibility is important in ensuring that students come to the cafeteria. we encourage them to make healthy choices and make healthy easy choices for them, but
operators need a little bit of flexibility to ensure that all of their students participate in the program. >> as each witness was testifying today, it just occurred to me how different the places are that you come from. there is nothing like detroit in my state. i say that just simply because it is a bigger city -- i mean, it is just -- just hard to describe. detroit is not like many of the communities that i visit. ms. wiggins, would you agree that one of the things that we might be missing is the lack of lexibility between a detroit and a carney, nebraska? >> i do understand your question, my parents had the ability to have us, through either community or
an organization, put items on the train -- tray. i think what you are missing is that school meals are not a welfare program. it supports education for all children. those children that you worried bout -- that you are worried about -- they are the ones bringing in the junk food to the cafeteria. those kids whose parents cannot afford to give the money any day ? at those of the kids with their heads down on the cafeteria table -- those are the kids with heir heads down on the table because they can't eat lunch. i wanted to support the new nutrition standards.
i had to put a cap on spending because i am in business, i am a business person. my participation went up 16%, and i had more money available to me. now my per capita spending is round three dollars. we have to be savvy about what we do. i had to make food that was more appealing before. but -- it did not cost me any difficulty. in detroit -- i don't know if you heard my testimony, i am not concerned about the kids on the urban street corners. we do a really good job on taking care of them. i am concerned about the kids where the property value is about 40%. we want to take care of all of our children. the troika is not any unique and different than the number of
poor children in appalachia, or kentucky, or west in a native of their -- native american eservations. but the programs and the legislations that are before you right now, the reauthorization, is not only a would start, it is a necessary start so that we can talk about feeding all children. fax thank you, madam chair. >> thank you very much. enator donnelly. >> one of the things that has othered me so much is that there is a dramatic increase in type two diabetes. is that a subject that comes up at your conferences, as to how your efforts can help stem the tide on that? >> sir, i appreciate thata quesp
in our district. it is one of the reasons that we have been able to implement new meal standards. we see a six-year-old with type two diabetes, or people who were grossly overweight, we know that we have to do something. our education leaders are just as concerned as i am as he nutrition later, and they support these nutrition standards. so it is not just confined to the school lunch lady, it is really an issue that we all need to be concerned about. >> i think that is a subject that as you look at it, the direct action of your work can change the impact on the health of our children. >> i agree with you. i got truly interested with the secretary of the army came to me
and talked about how our kids are so grossly obese, and i was just shaking my head. that motivated me more than ever to work hard to implement nutrition standards. you have to be a savvy food service director. you have to use all of the tools he usda provides us with a lot of tools. >> my friend, senator heitkamp, had to go and provide -- pres ide over the senate. he was talking about the equipment you need. this is for dr. wilson shaking your head -- are the things we can do to help with equipment needs? >> what we do across the country , in the training on how to use the aquatic, that is definitely an issue. there are a lot of infrastructures in schools that do not have coolers and freezers, and schools that were built without kitchens. as people begin to progress into
this different mode into feeding children in our school system, updating equipment, getting new agreement is definitely a need out there. we used to have equipment grants when i first started in the business, and it was wonderful. you could get some very nice pieces of equipment during equipment now can be universal. you can use it to steam, wake, roasts him a all from one piece -- steam, bake, roast, all from one piece of equipment. >> how do you bring in your local arming groups? i am from indiana, and one of the proudest moments from our farmers is to see their products used in local towns. how do you bring that together
-- do you need to bring local farmers and purchasing groups -- or, i mean, groups that you buy from -- what makes it easy for you to make it as local as possible? >> we have had some success with local farmers, and we are happy with that. we have relied very strongly on the department of agriculture to help us, and we have used the equipment. -- purchase equipment or in -- equipment. we have very few large farmers who can meet the requirements very easily, the irony of it as we have seen, farmers markets
increase in mississippi, but it pulls food away from school programs. it is a struggle every year to find a solution. our state agricultural department has been very helpful with that. >> i think within the confines of safety, the more options that we also provide our ag community, other places they can send their produce to, and as you said, talking to farmers, is hen they have the great moment of pride when they see they're making her own kid safe and healthy. thank you all for your efforts on this. we really appreciate it. thank you, madam chair. >> at this point, i am asking senator hildebrand for taking over as chair.
at this point, we have senator copen who is next. >> thank you, madam chairman. this committee has been working on reauthorization of the school lunch program. we all want our kids to be healthy and have nutritious meals, but there is a disagreement on the flexibility needed for the school lunch program. i want to use the whole grain requirement as an example. the new requirement kick in provides that for all whole-grain foods that are served, they have to be a 100% whole-grain products. we are talking breads, crackers, pizza crusts, tacos. anything you can think of that are made with grains has to be 100%.
you represent the 55,000 school nutritionist that have to deliver this program on the ground. not somebody here in washington dc they can say in a theoretical world here is something perfect, this is what we want. you have to do it every day, and deliver something they will need. again, i address the flexibility issue. i am going to come back and i have a question for each one of our panelists. >> related to the whole grain requirement, you are right. effective july, 100% of our grade have to be 100% whole rain rich. all of us are there at 50%, and many of us are beyond that. i will be at 100%, although there are some's -- some new items that my students will be trying the semester. i hope they will like them. across the country, there seems to be that single items in most regions that some school
authorities have had products that are acceptable for their kids. tortillas in the southwest, biscuits and grits in the south, bagels in the northeast, so again, i think most districts would have trouble getting to 90%. if there were an exemption to get to that culturally significant great item that they like, our manufacturers have tepped up and provided products. my kids are coming around on the biscuits, finally. but again, school directors have a hard time accessing products through their current distribution. >> i want to ask each of the panelists, and is it -- panelists, is it difficult to get to this requirement.
and if the answer is no, are you oing to commit next year and beyond? i would like to start with ms. wiggins. >> i am a card-carrying member of the school nutrition organization. one of the things that you have not talked about are the manufacturers who have worked very hard in formulating those whole-grain products. over the last three years, they did not wait, they started. when i talk to them at the school show last week, they support maintaining the standards.
because if they have to wait, go back and reformulate that product again or change the standard again, it's going to cost me money. yes, i'm committed to it. i have a full grain pasta. even though i'm from detroit, we eat all of those southern products. >> you think it is reasonable? 100% whole-grain products for the next year will meet that requirement? >> the answer is yes. >> there should be no flexibility? >> the usda is very flexible. >> what about an exception for school having trouble meeting the requirement? shouldn't there be some flexibility to allow them. we cannot get the whole-grain pasta. we may not be able to serve whole-grain 100% of the time. should be have flexibility or not?
>> speaking for food service administrators, we just had our annual conference and speaking for the collective side, we would be happy to see some flexibility there. i think a good example is we have an official from the usda recently telling us about this great whole-grain biscuit and they realized it was a carryover from last year and it was the white biscuit. we have an acceptable product but we worry about participation because it just does not have the same taste, texture, feel, that the regular products do. we would support some flexibilities, yes. >> i think you've already answered affirmatively unless you have something else? r. wilson. >> we had information in our training that it means 50%
whole-grain and the rest. there is some misinformation. >> 100% of what you serve has to be at that threshold. >> there is flexibility right now. >> only on posta. there's also the ability -- i'm from wisconsin but i live in mississippi so they always tell me i need to fix the grits because they do not want to serve whole-grain grits. there is the ability to use grits in the program but it's not counted towards the grain product. >> you think there should be flexibility? that's what i'm driving at, dr.. >> from the scientific and other, i think we need to go 100 or send no exceptions. >> mr. muir. >> you would commit to have 100% grain products, at least 50% in all of your lunch is no matter where you go, no matter what you eat and you don't see that as a hardship in any way, shape, or
form because you believe there should be no exceptions? >> i've been doing it in wisconsin four years ago. it's a little bit out of my expertise since i am in fruits and vegetables but i do have some experience here. some of the school district came to me two years ago and said we cannot find whole-grain flour. through normal grocery suppliers. they asked me to find it for them. we deliver it to the school district now and have been for two school years. they are proactive and after it. we look at the standards perhaps from the wrong perspective. the standards are really the minimum requirement of that we all should be meeting if we want to solve the obesity problem. therefore, i think we ought to maintain the standard and we need to redouble our efforts to work with the school district district that are struggling
with whole grains. >> allow reasonable exceptions or not? > stay the course. >> thank you. you feel you could accomplish the same thing and will over the next year, 100% of the grain product will be at least 50% whole grains? >> yes. >> thank you to the panelists. i appreciate you being here. >> thank you, ranking member, for hosting this meeting. i'm really worried about the obesity epidemic. the food we serve to 31 million students who participate in the program is an important investment in the future of our country so i think this is invaluable. obesity statistics are staggering. one in three kids are now obese or overweight. think about that. one in three is an extraordinarily high number. we have preschools, kindergartens in new york state
where 20 percent of the children entering kindergarten are obese. we have an issue about lack of information, lack of understanding, lack of nutritional standards, access to healthy foods that we've talked about on this committee for a while. i think that's why this debate is so important. obesity and adolescents costs our country 250 $4 billion per ear, $208 billion lost and productivity. direct medical costs, and we also have staggering hunger. one in five kids live in households that struggled to put food on the table. a recent survey shows 73% of teachers report having students come to school hungry. the hot meal they get at school might be the only meal they eat that day. we need to invest in the food they eat. the two dollars 92 cents that we currently invest in these free school meals is not enough.
after labor and utility costs are paid, only about one dollar is invested to actual food. institute of medicine has said in order for them to be nutritious including adequate fruits and vegetables, we need to invest an additional $.35 per meal. i'm hoping other members of the committee will join me in fighting for this. i wish senator hoven had not left. of course kids like whole grains. they like sugar even more. would you like to have sugar for lunch or fruit? they're going to pick sugar. heir taste buds love it. you have to give the men teach them how to eat well for their whole lives and that takes leadership. it takes determination. it takes creativity. i love the fact you told your school district to pick three colors every day.
when i was teaching my children about nutrition when they were 4, 5, six, how many colors can you put on your plate? they love it. because i fed them steamed vegetables as children, they only like steamed vegetables. they do not want butter or cheese. they been eating fruit at every meal since they were babies. my kids as a consequence because they have been given and introduced healthy foods at every meal, they prefer it. for a lot of these kids, they're not getting healthy foods at home. they are getting refined carbohydrates at every meal, a burger and fries. of course they prefer it. that's what they've been fed since they were little. we have to do more. i feel, yes, it is easy to have flexibility because evil like the grits they've had since they were kids but let's not serve refined foods at lunch. let's actually push them to eat something healthy that makes them reach their full potential.
when a kid is obese, he does not reach his full potential. he cannot concentrate in class. these often made fun of. he has low self-esteem. he does not reach his full potential. she does not reach her full potential. i'm grateful that all of you have thought outside the box figuring out how to meet nutritional standards. i don't want to back off. let's figure it out. we can figure it out. i'm worried about sna rolling back requirements. ms. bauscher, is that the goal? >> we do not want to roll back the requirements. we fully support the increased quantities and varieties of fruits and vegetables that have to be offered to our students and all of us are encouraging students to select fruits and vegetables by preparing them in attractive ways and making a
wide variety available. we also support at least 50% of the grains being whole or maybe somewhere between 50% and 100%. you said it. our students are not seeing some of these foods outside of school. we also have students that go through the line that take it because they have to and then don't eat it. if they do not eat, they will go home and not have a meal, still be hungry. >> kids will eat if they are hungry. i don't agree. if my son got to choose a, he would choose candy and cookies but by the time it's lunchtime, he is so hungry that he will eat what i put on his plate. i don't agree that kids that are not hungry will not eat. just because it's not their favorite or it tastes funny, they're going to eat it. if you offer low-quality food, they will prefer low-quality food. it tastes better.
>> we are not offering low-quality food. we are meeting the calorie requirements. we have eliminated trans fat. we're are meeting the saturated fat per climates. we are reducing the sodium. we will be on board with the target one sodium requirements that went on board july 1. it's about allowing the students to catch up. you do not turn the taste runs around on a diamond we are encouraging them to take healthy choices. >> ok. i think we need more money in this program. do you think we need more money in this program? >> yes. >> during last year's authorization i supported a 35% increase in the reimbursement rate. would this help all of you achieve your goals? all of you yes? i would like you to help us do that. you are the advocates. you are the experts.
we have to inform congress that $2.92 is not enough. whole fruits and vegetables can be affordable as we increase access, but i can tell you when you have a low-quality vegetable, how many people would prefer steamed green beans over canned green beans? everyone. is no one who prefers canned green beans. they are one billion times more tasty and delicious. let's focus on how we get the fresh whole food and vegetables and it costs a little more. it's cheaper to survey chicken nugget but if we could have roasted chicken or grilled chicken, it is more healthy. it does cost a little bit more. i urge you to help us achieve that goal by getting us to informing congress how important a little bit of money -- and i had a lot of other questions about equipment that i will submit for the record, but there
is a grant program we had in the past that i would like to reinstitute. it's not a lot of money. $35 million in grants so they can have the equipment they need to actually serve fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats. it's not a lot of money. if he go back to the cost, the cost of obesity is $200 billion per year in missed opportunity, less performing, huge drain on the economy. the small amounts of investment have enormous returns long-term. next senator. did you go, senator bozeman? >> thank you very much. i appreciate you all being here and i appreciate the hard work. i was on the school board for seven years and i understand how difficult it is for those of you in the trenches.
some of you have figured this out. we have a problem though because the vast majority of your colleagues have not figured it out. visited with a bunch of people, lunch personnel, over the last year and they are very frustrated. the things i hear about are the waist, the expense, the fear of unfunded mandates which we have already, and then also kids being hungry. again, it's great that you all have it figured out to some extent, but a bunch of your colleagues are very, frustrated. as ms. bauscher mentioned, costs re variable. how do you handle the supply of fresh fruits and vegetables when they are out of season? >> we work with our school
district in trying to help them create an annual calendar of what they can serve during certain times. we steer them away from things we are ready no like when a production cycle gaps in the price will be going up. if there is a weather event with a product and price spikes, we immediately notify our school district that i think we need to make a sense to touche and here. under the dod program when prices are posted one week in advance it's very clear most school district are savvy to that and when they see a spike in price, they call and move away to a substitute product. we are not spending $20 for something that's normally $8. we try to do that with all of our school district. >> you source specialty and fresh products from around the world.
how do you comply with the national school lunch act buy american provisions that requires purchasing domestically grown to the greatest extent possible? >> under the system that dod fresh has, favors, we are not allowed to post nondomestic items on that list. it's very regulated. it's difficult to make a mistake there and i think we can provide a wide variety of all omestic. >> ms. wiggins, and whoever would like to answer, some of you have been doing this for a while. are you seeing a reduction in besity in your children?
>> you're absolutely right. i have been doing it for a while. i see some better eating habits. one thing we also need to consider is we need to put exercise, gym, some of those other things that burn calories. calories in and, if you don't put them out, you're going to et overweight. imimpressed when they are opting for a fresh apple opposed to potato chips. we are seeing better eating habits. do i have any empirical evidence? this plate waste everyone is talking about i do not experience that much in detroit. this will help the people who are responsible in the new training requirements, the level
of education, sophistication, among the people who are delivering the program are not equal. i have a business background. i understand i run a small usiness. i respect the authorization of 2010 about education. >> thank you. i need to let senator thune go. don't misunderstand. i'm very supportive of the program, but we do have a problem with many of your colleagues not understanding it and being frustrated. it's got to be fixed. i think the program needs to be tweaked. the comments you made, ms. wiggins, is excellent because the other thing we cannot do is just focus on this.
this is not the answer. you mentioned exercise and things like that. that has to be a huge part of it also. thank you very much for being here. >> -- senator thune. >> thank you for sharing your insights. this is a really important issue. it's one that most of us hear a lot about. standards are leading to food being not eaten, standards creating a significant financial burden. i talked to teachers in my state of south dakota that the program has resulted in loss and even the loss of employees so they can meet financial obligations. as we look at this issue, there is not a policy that should be considered a gold standard and
the responsibility of this committee is that we look at the reauthorization of the support with the spirit of cooperation. they are not open to meaningful hange. i want to open the question to you, ms. bauscher, with an issue specific to my state of south dakota but i'm sure is shared around the country. i hear from school administrators, nutritionists, food service managers about the impact they are having that as a particular letter from 200 students who attend the pierre chool. they want traditional foods part of their culture served once a
month but because of the inflexibility of the new standards not able to do that, how can we work and this authorization to make sure they're receiving healthy, nutritious meals while meeting these types of requests. especially in areas with other areas in the country as well. >> and school district around the country, we are increasingly serving a very diversified population. there are over 120 languages poken. their own eating heritage is so important and we look for ways to incorporate those foods. i would be helpful that in the 2015 reauthorization we would be
able to let them enjoy the food of their culture in the school meal program. >> do believe schools are getting consistent and adequate amounts and types of technical assistance in order to successfully implement and meet the current requirements? >> the resources have been out there for a long time. utting the cart before the horse, in some states there is no room to change the requirement. it really did not make sense to run a federal program to not have any kind of educational requirement at all. it's up to the local district who should be running the program you regardless of the size. i know in some districts that are really in trouble. it's the person leading the program is not able to.
the issue of standards it's really important it is you can make all the rules you want but if you don't understand how to do them, it does not help. it is too bad. we have to require it, but in some districts they do it. i work in a small rural district with only 1700 kids. they were throwing away 1800 gallons of milk per day so we decided to do something about it. it was because of the milk they were dumping in a bucket to throw away and that was back in the early 90's. we switched in our district and we did recess before lunch and it had a huge impact on waste. i think there are lots of anecdotal things going round.
i don't think we've done any good digging into what's really occurring. as far as professional standards are concerned, we need an opportunity for people to be ducated. in the nursing home situation in this country, you are required to have a registered dietitian overseer program. i'm not saying every school street needs one but the very small nursing homes in every rural county in this country has to have somebody that comes in either once a week or once every other week that does some versight for them. there is a way in my district is 1700, we increased the balance in my superintendent loved it because of the things that we did. back in the 1990's, putting better standards in place because i come from a nutrition background.
we're just beginning this change. it will take a few years to see the outcome of us moving forward with this. >> i'm from detroit in contrary to popular belief, i have a larger middle eastern, a large middle eastern, and a few lithuanian population as well. we do serve ethnic foods, but you can serve them healthy. just to give you an example, black people really love collard greens and a lot of fat. we've changed it since we knew how much it impacted our health, things with diabetes and being overweight, and now we can enjoy it. on soul day, we have collard greens, sweet potato, and corn bread but they're all within the
guidelines. it's not like mama's, but it's an awareness that that food can be eaten. on, soess we have a vote thank you all for being here. >> thank you very much. vote,in fact go speak and some more we have questions. many different pieces to this and we need all movehelp this week as we forward in resolving challenges and supporting schools. i mentioned 'the first round