Many of the regulations, in the opinions of the nutrition directors in attendance, have led to decreased consumption and increased waste. “We want to feed children, not trash cans,” said Kim Mosser, the nutritional analyst for the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative who works closely with area schools. Mosser presented Quarles with photos of wasted food product from school cafeterias to illustrate her point.
Henry County Public Schools’ Nutrition Director Sidney Rothenburger and Assistant Nutrition Director Ellen Derossett were among a contingent of representatives from several area school districts that attended the meeting to ask Quarles to advocate for some modifications to the stringent USDA regulations placed on school food service departments. An easing of the regulations would likely lead to additional revenue for schools while contributing to more choice and tastier options for students.
Also in attendance was Bill Wickliffe, who works with food distribution for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, who championed cutting the red tape that seems to prevent local farmers from selling directly to school districts using the Farm to School program.
After the meeting, hosted by Henry County High School, Quarles enjoyed lunch in the cafeteria.