Leo Batali & Sanaj Naval's Proposal on the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)


Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

Our Podcast: Issues with the National School Lunch Program


Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).






Describe the specific issue or problem, being sure to provide sufficient context so that someone less familiar with the issue has a sense of the bigger picture, but know that your focus here is on a more detailed spelling out of the specific problem or issue that you’ve identified. (250 words minimum)

All across the United States there are many young children who are not nourished enough like the rest. This problem of child hunger has existed for a long time, however, only in the last 50 years has it come to the forefront of our attention with the National School Lunch Program being put into place. This program is funded by our tax dollars and strives to provide food for many young students at low costs or for free. The problem with it though is that, due to poor regulations and lack of funding, students are not receiving the nutrition they need through this program. A shocking and relevant statistic noted that only 16.3% of students who eat school meals regularly eat fruits and vegetables regularly, which is definitely not good. The program as a whole costs the government around $13.3 billion annually, but students do not get what they truly need out of it. It accomplishes the task of feeding approximately 32 million students in the U.S. but does not provide the proper nutrition to these students. In Michigan specifically, there are many statistics that prove that children here suffer from obesity or other weight problems due to low food standards that exist as a result of what they are receiving for meals at schools. These students are forming poor eating habits because of this, and this can negatively impact future generations. Furthermore, due to the fact that the agricultural department does not monitor the spending on processing food, the money is poorly spent. This is exemplified by the fact that the Michigan Department of Education gets free raw chicken valued around $11.40 per case, but it spends $33.45 per case after processing it into chicken nuggets. This money needs to be monitored and used more efficiently to make the most of the National School Lunch Program, and to better nourish the students who will make our future.

Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.


While President Obama was in office, his administration passed the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. The act made it so that the USDA improve nutritional content of the food plated and served to children taking part in the National School Lunch Program. It made it so there were abundantly more fruits and vegetables in the meals. Recently concerns about food waste has made it so the Trump Administration announced it would have USDA de-administer many of the changes put forward by the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. The idea that the healthier foods weren’t being eaten and thus creating more food waste. There is small evidence backing this idea, yet the Trump Administration is standing strong. This would bring back many poor nutrition regulations for these meals and in return help the increase of obesity amongst children in the United States. Students and citizens across the country must help repeal the Trump Administrations roll back of the several regulations to help make sure the youth of the country is indeed healthy. 


Good nutrition is still a widely prevalent issue within the National School Lunch Program. Although there have been several changes throughout the years since its creation, students are still faced with unhealthy meals and obesity. One problem igniting this is the sale of soft drinks and schools and education facilities. Schools ridding themselves of the contracts they have with these soda and soft drink companies would be beneficial to the youth. In 1999 the San Francisco Board of Education passed a policy called the Commercial Free Schools Act. The act denied all schools from signing exclusive contract with any snack or soft beverage company, and to replace what was previously a soda with healthier options for drink and snack. Michigan Board of Education implementing something like such would be valuable and have a positive impact to the Michigan youth. 


In order to decrease obesity amongst youth through our National School Lunch Program we must update and increase standards set forth for the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The AMS is a sector of the USDA that purchased meats for school lunches within the NSLP. During a 2009 report it was found that the safety standards were lower that=n those of the average American fast food restaurant. For example, this would mean that proteins and meats that the AMS would purchase would be turned down by many fast food restaurants for not complying to the regulations. We cannot be feeding the children of America these things if we want our youth to grow strong and be able to control the country in the future. Updating these regulations is a must for the U.S.

Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.


Research process:

Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit.  In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.


Author contributions:

Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?



The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.




(Add more "Whereas" clauses if necessary.)

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).





(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)


What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?




Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from?  Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  



These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Total votes: 1