Some Georgia cafeterias are getting ahead of expected federal guidelines that virtually would banish the potato from school lunches. The US Agriculture Department is formulating a proposal that would drastically reduce the humble spud from school cafeterias. The new guidelines aren't expect to take effect until next year, but coastal Glynn County schools already has started to serve potatoes just once each week.
Families in many Georgia schools will pay a bit more for school lunches beginning next school year. New federal regulations are forcing school districts across the state to raise school lunch prices by between a nickel and a quarter.
President Obama's plan to freeze federal spending could have big budget implications in Georgia. The state is expected to spend about $11 billion of federal funds in the coming year. Most of it goes to Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled. But about a billion also goes to education.
School cafeterias would have to hold the fries and serve kids more whole grains, fruits and vegetables under the government's plans for the first major nutritional overhaul of students' meals in 15 years.
The House plans to take up the Senate version of the child nutrition bill in early December. It's paid for in part with promised food stamp money increases, but the Administration has promised it will fix that later.
Georgia's Congressional delegation could gain a subcommittee chairmanship if Republicans take control of the US House next week. Savannah Republican Jack Kingston says, he's waiting until after the election to think about the likelihood of his wielding the gavel of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee after a GOP takeover.