- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First lady Michelle Obama’s lunch room mandates for schools around the nation have now received a bit of a public relations boost from retired admirals and generals who say: They’re not a bad idea.

Mission:Readiness — a consortium of about 500 retired and former members of the military who held high-ranking posts — is poised to “storm the Hill” when Congress comes back from break in hopes of  persuading lawmakers to keep the first lady’s lunch room standards in operation, Politico reported.

“We’re not going to retreat our way out of the problem,” said Lt. Gen. Normal Seip, who served in the Air Force for 35 years, Politico reported.

Mission: Readiness was created in 2008 as a means of ensuring youth are healthy enough to join the military.

Nearly 75 percent of young adults are deemed unsuitable for military service, due to obesity, failing grades or criminal records, Defense Department data shows.

The group backs the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Act pushed by Mrs. Obama, which requires schools serve more fruits and vegetables and abide strict salt and fat food content levels, as well as switch to grain-rich starches.

The program is controversial; schools say they’re losing money from the mandates while students complain the meals leave them hungry.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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