Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Some school districts quit healthier lunch program

Posted by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 5:58 AM
  • 246 Replies


(AP) Some school districts quit healthier lunch program
By CAROLYN THOMPSON
Associated Press
After just one year, some schools around the country are dropping out of the healthier new federal lunch program, complaining that so many students turned up their noses at meals packed with whole grains, fruits and vegetables that the cafeterias were losing money.

Federal officials say they don't have exact numbers but have seen isolated reports of schools cutting ties with the $11 billion National School Lunch Program, which reimburses schools for meals served and gives them access to lower-priced food.

Districts that rejected the program say the reimbursement was not enough to offset losses from students who began avoiding the lunch line and bringing food from home or, in some cases, going hungry.

"Some of the stuff we had to offer, they wouldn't eat," said Catlin, Ill., Superintendent Gary Lewis, whose district saw a 10 to 12 percent drop in lunch sales, translating to $30,000 lost under the program last year.

"So you sit there and watch the kids, and you know they're hungry at the end of the day, and that led to some behavior and some lack of attentiveness."

In upstate New York, a few districts have quit the program, including the Schenectady-area Burnt Hills Ballston Lake system, whose five lunchrooms ended the year $100,000 in the red.

Near Albany, Voorheesville Superintendent Teresa Thayer Snyder said her district lost $30,000 in the first three months. The program didn't even make it through the school year after students repeatedly complained about the small portions and apples and pears went from the tray to the trash untouched.

Districts that leave the program are free to develop their own guidelines. Voorheesville's chef began serving such dishes as salad topped with flank steak and crumbled cheese, pasta with chicken and mushrooms, and a panini with chicken, red peppers and cheese.

In Catlin, soups and fish sticks will return to the menu this year, and the hamburger lunch will come with yogurt and a banana _ not one or the other, like last year.

Nationally, about 31 million students participated in the guidelines that took effect last fall under the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Dr. Janey Thornton, deputy undersecretary for USDA's Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, which oversees the program, said she is aware of reports of districts quitting but is still optimistic about the program's long-term prospects.

"Many of these children have never seen or tasted some of the fruits and vegetables that are being served before, and it takes a while to adapt and learn," she said.

The agency had not determined how many districts have dropped out, Thornton said, cautioning that "the numbers that have threatened to drop and the ones that actually have dropped are quite different."

The School Nutrition Association found that 1 percent of 521 district nutrition directors surveyed over the summer planned to drop out of the program in the 2013-14 school year and about 3 percent were considering the move.

Not every district can afford to quit. The National School Lunch Program provides cash reimbursements for each meal served: about $2.50 to $3 for free and reduced-priced meals and about 30 cents for full-price meals. That takes the option of quitting off the table for schools with large numbers of poor youngsters.

The new guidelines set limits on calories and salt, phase in more whole grains and require that fruit and vegetables be served daily. A typical elementary school meal under the program consisted of whole-wheat cheese pizza, baked sweet potato fries, grape tomatoes with low-fat ranch dip, applesauce and 1 percent milk.

In December, the Agriculture Department, responding to complaints that kids weren't getting enough to eat, relaxed the 2-ounce-per-day limit on grains and meats while keeping the calorie limits.

At Wallace County High in Sharon Springs, Kan., football player Callahan Grund said the revision helped, but he and his friends still weren't thrilled by the calorie limits (750-850 for high school) when they had hours of calorie-burning practice after school. The idea of dropping the program has come up at board meetings, but the district is sticking with it for now.

"A lot of kids were resorting to going over to the convenience store across the block from school and kids were buying junk food," the 17-year-old said. "It was kind of ironic that we're downsizing the amount of food to cut down on obesity but kids are going and getting junk food to fill that hunger."

To make the point, Grund and his schoolmates starred last year in a music video parody of the pop hit "We Are Young." Instead, they sang, "We Are Hungry."

It was funny, but Grund's mother, Chrysanne Grund, said her anxiety was not.

"I was quite literally panicked about how we would get enough food in these kids during the day," she said, "so we resorted to packing lunches most days."

by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 5:58 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Bellarose0212
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:19 AM
2 moms liked this

This just feels bizarre to read, like it should be an article in The Onion or something.

If some kids choose to go eat junk or pack junk, fine, but schools still should not serve it.

Bellarose0212
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:20 AM

Also, there are ways to make healthy food kid friendly, I hope the initiative looked at that.

muslimah
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:35 AM
5 moms liked this

 I got jumped on here before by all the Michelle lovers over this I will probably get jumped again but I don't care. My daughter's (almost 16) school adopted her stupid program. My daughter wouldn't eat it. She only goes to high school for half a day then the other half after lunch she goes to a school of performing arts for dance. She also has dance school 4 nights a week, ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical. Most of her dance classes start right after school and she goes Mon -Thurs. She needs a real lunch. Not this Michelle shit. She has to go across the street to the liquor store to buy her lunch. They have a few hot items like pizza and some fake ass processed cheese burgers. They have subs but most of them not only have pork but also are the lowest grade of processed lunch meat you can get. My daughter is a healthy eater by choice. She doesn't want that garbage either but it's either that or starve. I have tried to convince her to let me make her something to take. She likes things like a Greek salad with chicken breast, fruit salads but she also wants some kind of hot food, real food that is healthy but has some flavor and will fill her up. She let me prepare something for to take couple time but she said by the time she got to eat it it was cold, soggy, and tasted like it had been sitting for hours and she is right.

I hope to God her school this year is going to be one of them that quitstheir so called "healthier" lunch programs.

What kills me about it all (and I got jumped for this too) Michelle is no skinny mini herself. She should adopt her own her "healthier " lunch.

And for those who jumped me last time and said she is not fat she is built like a black women. I am built like like a black women and have been told it all my life. Every body always tells me i am the white girl with the black girl booty. But I only weigh 119 pounds and that's just been since my 30's. Before my daughter was born I was 116 pounds at full term. And guess what I had a black girl body then too so that is no excuse.

I would not be dogging her for chubbiness if she would mind her own business and stop starving my child when she's not so slim her self. I bet she don't she don't eat that shit served in the school so why should my kid be expected too ?
 

 

candlegal
by Judy on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:44 AM
2 moms liked this

Wow, seriously.   If the schools are losing money, they aren't going to serve healthy food.   It is always about the money in the government run schools.

So the kids should go hungry if they refuse to eat right?  Our schools are already failing our children, going without food isn't going to make anything  better.

Quoting Bellarose0212:

This just feels bizarre to read, like it should be an article in The Onion or something.

If some kids choose to go eat junk or pack junk, fine, but schools still should not serve it.


candlegal
by Judy on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:46 AM

I agree.  Kids are not going to learn anything if they refuse to eat.  They need to serve kids food they will eat.

Quoting muslimah:

 I got jumped on here before by all the Michelle lovers over this I will probably get jumped again but I don't care. My daughter's (almost 16) school adopted her stupid program. My daughter wouldn't eat it. She only goes to high school for half a day then the other half after lunch she goes to a school of performing arts for dance. She also has dance school 4 nights a week, ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical. Most of her dance classes start right after school and she goes Mon -Thurs. She needs a real lunch. Not this Michelle shit. She has to go across the street to the liquor store to buy her lunch. They have a few hot items like pizza and some fake ass processed cheese burgers. They have subs but most of them not only have pork but also are the lowest grade of processed lunch meat you can get. My daughter is a healthy eater by choice. She doesn't want that garbage either but it's either that or starve. I have tried to convince her to let me make her something to take. She likes things like a Greek salad with chicken breast, fruit salads but she also wants some kind of hot food, real food that is healthy but has some flavor and will fill her up. She let me prepare something for to take couple time but she said by the time she got to eat it it was cold, soggy, and tasted like it had been sitting for hours and she is right.

I hope to God her school this year is going to be one of them that quitstheir so called "healthier" lunch programs.

What kills me about it all (and I got jumped for this too) Michelle is no skinny mini herself. She should adopt her own her "healthier " lunch.

And for those who jumped me last time and said she is not fat she is built like a black women. I am built like like a black women and have been told it all my life. Every body always tells me i am the white girl with the black girl booty. But I only weigh 119 pounds and that's just been since my 30's. Before my daughter was born I was 116 pounds at full term. And guess what I had a black girl body then too so that is no excuse.

I would not be dogging her for chubbiness if she would mind her own business and stop starving my child when she's not so slim her self. I bet she don't she don't eat that shit served in the school so why should my kid be expected too ?
 

 


SuperChicken
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:51 AM
7 moms liked this

I find it so sad that many kids don't know what a fruit or veggie that hasn't been processed tastes like.   It takes time and effort to introduce healthy foods, and it's best done as an infant.   If kids are not willing to eat healthy food the fault rests squarely on the parents who trained their kids to like crap.

tnmomofive
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:51 AM
2 moms liked this

This is a tough one.I agree with everybody here so far.I can see both sides but what it boils down to is the parents that should stop raising their kids on crap foods.

candlegal
by Judy on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:53 AM
It is sad but letting them go without is not the solution.
Quoting SuperChicken:

I find it so sad that many kids don't know what a fruit or veggie that hasn't been processed tastes like.   It takes time and effort to introduce healthy foods, and it's best done as an infant.   If kids are not willing to eat healthy food the fault rests squarely on the parents who trained their kids to like crap.

muslimah
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:53 AM

 

Quoting candlegal:

I agree.  Kids are not going to learn anything if they refuse to eat.  They need to serve kids food they will eat.

Quoting muslimah:

 I got jumped on here before by all the Michelle lovers over this I will probably get jumped again but I don't care. My daughter's (almost 16) school adopted her stupid program. My daughter wouldn't eat it. She only goes to high school for half a day then the other half after lunch she goes to a school of performing arts for dance. She also has dance school 4 nights a week, ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical. Most of her dance classes start right after school and she goes Mon -Thurs. She needs a real lunch. Not this Michelle shit. She has to go across the street to the liquor store to buy her lunch. They have a few hot items like pizza and some fake ass processed cheese burgers. They have subs but most of them not only have pork but also are the lowest grade of processed lunch meat you can get. My daughter is a healthy eater by choice. She doesn't want that garbage either but it's either that or starve. I have tried to convince her to let me make her something to take. She likes things like a Greek salad with chicken breast, fruit salads but she also wants some kind of hot food, real food that is healthy but has some flavor and will fill her up. She let me prepare something for to take couple time but she said by the time she got to eat it it was cold, soggy, and tasted like it had been sitting for hours and she is right.

I hope to God her school this year is going to be one of them that quitstheir so called "healthier" lunch programs.

What kills me about it all (and I got jumped for this too) Michelle is no skinny mini herself. She should adopt her own her "healthier " lunch.

And for those who jumped me last time and said she is not fat she is built like a black women. I am built like like a black women and have been told it all my life. Every body always tells me i am the white girl with the black girl booty. But I only weigh 119 pounds and that's just been since my 30's. Before my daughter was born I was 116 pounds at full term. And guess what I had a black girl body then too so that is no excuse.

I would not be dogging her for chubbiness if she would mind her own business and stop starving my child when she's not so slim her self. I bet she don't she don't eat that shit served in the school so why should my kid be expected too ?
 

 


 It's garbage. Literally garbage and it is no where enough to fill a kid and keep them full for the day especially when they are active. As I said my daughter is a very healthy eater by choice, She has to be, she is a dancer but just as much as she wants healthy food she wants food that actually looks and tastes like food.

 And those salads they serve and call "healthy" they are not healthy, They are made of the cheapest ice berg lettuce you can get. Ice burg lettuce has NO nutritional value and the body does not even process it. It sticks to walls of the colon and rots. But what can you expect from man made lettuce?

muslimah
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:55 AM

 

Quoting candlegal:

Wow, seriously.   If the schools are losing money, they aren't going to serve healthy food.   It is always about the money in the government run schools.

So the kids should go hungry if they refuse to eat right?  Our schools are already failing our children, going without food isn't going to make anything  better.

Quoting Bellarose0212:

This just feels bizarre to read, like it should be an article in The Onion or something.

If some kids choose to go eat junk or pack junk, fine, but schools still should not serve it.


 I don't why money should be an issue when we are paying for it. Paying for garbage.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN