Updated 10/15/2012 06:29 PM
Candidates weigh in on school lunches
In the North Country, school lunches as become a hot debate. Republican congressional-hopeful Matt Doheny says students don't have enough food on their plate. Our Barry Wygel explains how the candidates for the 21st Congressional District differ on the issue.
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MASSENA, N.Y. -- Democratic Congressman Bill Owens and Republican Challenger Matt Doheny disagree on many issues. But when it comes to school lunch regulations, there's some common ground.
"A lot of students, especially athletes, active kids, were just saying, honestly the portions aren't enough," said Matt Doheny, Republican candidate for the 21st congressional district.
"I think that the regulation that they put in place is in fact a poor regulation," said Congressman Bill Owens.
But what they don't agree upon is who is to blame.
"My opponent and the federal government is regulating exactly how many portions, how many chicken nuggets a child can have," said Doheny.
"I want to stress that it's a regulation, it was not a piece of legislation. Mr. Doheny is saying I voted for this regulation, which isn't true. I voted to re-authorize a bill that provided funding for school lunches," said Owens.
Both candidates agree the regulation needs to be re-written with input from students and parents.
"I believe in parents and I believe in local officials right here on the ground that understand what needs to happen," said Doheny.
"It needs input from the folks on the ground, so we can get the right level of healthy meals for the kids," said Owens.
Owens says his next move is to bring his complaints to the Department of Agriculture and ask for a revision of the regulation.
Doheny wants action to repeal the regulation and leave the choice up to local schools.