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Idaho potato officials focus on school foodservice

As students returned to schools in the past month, the controversy over nutrition mandates calling for more fruits and vegetables on students’ lunch trays heated up again. The issue – foodservice operators saying it’s harder to meet budgets with the new standards and more fruits and vegetables are ending in the trash – is on the U.S. Potato Board’s agenda. The board’s main push for schools focuses on potato-friendly salad bars and more menu options that will be eaten instead of tossed in trash bins. The salad bar campaign – Potatoes Raise the Bar – has received pledges of 20 of the bars since it officially kicked off July 1, and the potato board is matching the donations. The board has set aside $900,000 to donate 300 salad bars, if the industry pledges the same. More