Bay State lawmakers focus on school lunches

schoollunchxlap Bay State lawmakers focus on school lunches

State lawmakers have sent to Gov. Deval Patrick a bill designed to encourage healthier food options in the state’s elementary and high schools.

Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo said on Thursday that the goal of the bill is to combat the growing problem of childhood obesity.

The bill requires schools to adhere to nutritional guidelines for foods and beverages sold to students outside of the federal meal program.

The guidelines, which also apply to food and drinks sold in school vending machines, will be developed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The bill also requires schools to teach nutrition and exercise, mandates school districts develop wellness programs and encourages schools to use locally grown food.

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