Mar 9, 2012    #026
Contact: John Martellaro

Politics, presidents and peanut butter sandwiches

Author to discuss school lunches as a political issue at Truman Legacy Series event

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Should schools push broccoli on kids who prefer burgers? Are schools a proper outlet for surplus foods purchased to prop up farm income? And is ketchup really a vegetable?

These are the kinds of questions that the federal government, states and local school districts have wrestled with for decades, as the federal school lunch program has been used as a vehicle for addressing issues ranging from agriculture policy to childhood nutrition to budget cuts and deficit reduction.

The politics of the plate will be the focus of the next installment of the Truman Legacy Public Affairs Series, hosted by the Harry S Truman Center for Governmental Affairs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. "School Lunch Politics: From Truman to Reagan" will feature remarks by Susan Levine, author of "School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America's Favorite Welfare Program" (Princeton University Press 2008). Levine is professor of history and director of the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her book will be available for purchase and time will be allowed for a book signing.

The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. March 19 at the Truman Forum Auditorium, Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, 4801 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. The event, a partnership among the UMKC Truman Center, the Truman Presidential Library and Museum, the Bernardin-Haskell Lectures Fund and the Continuing Education Program of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences, is free and open to the public; preregistration is strongly encouraged. Interested persons should contact the Truman Center at 816-235-2720 or RSVP online at the Truman Center.

About UMKC

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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