Lawmakers Push For Grape Juice In Every School

Lawmakers Push For Grape Juice In Every School

10:44am Mar 24, 2021
Scuppernong vines in Mocksville, N.C. Photo courtesy of Southern Foodways Alliance.

There is a juicy debate happening in the North Carolina legislature. 

House Bill 136 mandates that state, local, and charter schools make 100% muscadine grape juice available to all students. It also calls for ensuring the juice be placed in community college campus vending machines.

Why the muscadine maneuver? Supporters say the bill would promote Scuppernong grapes, a muscadine variety that happens to be the North Carolina state fruit. Some also believe it would provide students with an alternative to soft drinks.

The News & Observer reports the bill is being sponsored by Republican Rep. Julia Howard of Mocksville, who said in the House debate that it would greatly benefit growers in the eastern part of the state.

Opponents argued that muscadine grape juice should not be forced on anyone and was in fact the least preferred juice by students.

Advocates shot back that while the bill mandates that schools offer grape juice, students would not be required to drink it.

In the end, the bill was passed by a wide margin and now moves on to the Senate.


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