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Sunday
Dec122010

The Day the Bake Sales Died? Vilsack Responds to GOP Concerns

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Dept. of Agriculture(WASHINGTON) -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says Monday will be “historic” and “a great day for kids” when President Obama signs into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
 
The new law provides $4.5 billion to schools over the next decade and sets standards for food served in school cafeterias, vending machines and stores. But Sarah Palin and other Republicans warn the law will steal freedom, and cookies, from American children. That’s because the law technically could allow limits on bake sales and candy fundraisers during school hours. But Vilsack has written a letter to Congress promising he will not exercise that authority.

“It would be interesting for folks to read the bill,” he said in response to the GOP's criticism. “The bill doesn’t ban cookies. It doesn’t ban bake sales,” Vilsack said. “What it does do is it provides the USDA with the capacity to establish nutritional standards for vending machines, a la carte lines, and for the regular lines for meals and activities that take place during the school day.”
 
Vilsack also said creative bakers can make snacks that are both tasty and nutritious, like brownies made from black beans that he tried at a school in Colorado.

The need for new standards, Vilsack said, is evidenced by the fact that more than one half of all U.S. schoolchildren are either hungry, obese or at risk of obesity.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio