According to this Politico report, the School Nutrition Association – a group of school cafeteria workers – has rejected a request by the White House Nutrition Czar to speak at their convention.
The significance of this is that two years ago, the SNA and the White House were joined at the hip. The Czar, celebrity chef Sam Kass, handed out awards that year in Denver at the group’s annual convention.
But two years later, the SNA is fighting Michelle Obama’s relentless attack on tasty foods saying that the blizzard of memos and policy changes has become too much.
At stake is the health of millions of kids, an $11 billion school lunch program dominated by big food companies that want to build brand loyalty early and even the legacy of the first lady — who has made combating the childhood obesity epidemic her primary cause.
So while the specifics might look like a food fight, behind the clash are all the big forces that shape major political battles — money, lobbying muscle, big personalities — and an ideological split over the size and role of the federal government, especially when it comes to kids.
“Our members are very frustrated,” said Patricia Montague, SNA’s CEO.
“Everybody is feeling a little bit stretched and stressed by what they’re facing,” she said, citing an onslaught of policy memos and regulations.