By Molly Crane-Newman and Ben Chapman
A group of states, led by New York, sued the Trump administration over changes school lunch nutrition standards on Wednesday.
Six states and the District of Columbia charge President Trump's Department of Agriculture weakened nutritional standards in school breakfasts and lunches when it relaxed the requirements limiting salt and refined grains in 2018.
The plaintiffs in the suit, which was filed in Manhattan federal court and also names Department of Agriculture Sonny Purdue as a defendant, argue the changes to school breakfast and lunch standards were executed without required public input and in violation of nutrition requirements previously established by Congress.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced the litigation with a press conference at Public School 67 in Brooklyn.
She said the changes to school food guidelines are bad news for kids.
"Simply put, the Trump administration is putting our children in harm's way," said James. "Rather than protect and support our most vulnerable children, and maintain nutritional standards for the most vulnerable, the Trump administration is actively working to harm them even more."
James and the other plaintiffs argue that the changes to federal school lunch guidelines imperil school kids by allowing substandard food on campus.
But when the changes were first announced in 2017, Department of Agriculture officials said the move was not intended to diminish nutritional standards.
Federal oversight of school food is minimal. Local districts execute student meals with some federal money. But federal funds account for only about 10% of local school district budgets.
Department of Agriculture officials declined to comment on the suit, citing the ongoing litigation.
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