In a short documentary by AJ+, a recently launched digital-only network from Al Jazeera based in San Francisco, the role of corporations and lobbyists is examined in U.S. school lunches. More specifically, companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Domino’s role in a bill that is currently under discussion is investigated.
“School lunches are changing thanks to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act,” explained AJ+ reporter Imran Garda. Enacted this year, the law requires 97,000 U.S. schools to provide healthier food. “Well, in theory,” said Garda, “Companies like Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola have spent millions of dollars trying to prevent these changes.”
Garda goes on to explain children’s health is First Lady Michelle Obama’s priority and although the bill seemed to have support from law-makers, republicans are now trying to stop the bill by allowing schools to opt out. Garda also revealed food lobbyists were part of creating the guidelines.
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is leading a lobbying campaign to allow schools to opt out of the guidelines. “Almost half of the SNA’s 10 million dollar budget comes from Big Food. For Big Food, childhood obesity is less important than profits,” said Garda.