National Edition

Healthier school lunches not going down well

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28 2013 7:40 p.m. MDT

Parents in Kentucky are chaffing at new federal school lunch requirements that, they say, are leaving kids hungry because they can't get full on the limited meat and starches made available. Some schools are pushing back.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

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Parents in Kentucky are chaffing at new federal school lunch requirements that, they say, are leaving kids hungry because they can't get full on the limited meat and starches made available. Some schools are pushing back.

The USDA website on school lunches touts the new healthy program, with images of lunches heavy on fresh vegetables. The effort is a major element of first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative.

“They say it tastes like vomit,” Harlan County School Board member Myra Mosley said, according to the Harland Daily.

"A lot of kids were resorting to going over to the convenience store across the block from school and kids were buying junk food," one 17-year-old told the Associated Press. "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."

Earlier, a school district in upstate New York chose to leave the lunch program, even though it meant giving up more than $150,000 in federal funding, WNYT New York reported at the time.

The problem there was that kids were throwing away the food and going hungry. "It's not just a money problem," one school official commented to WNYT. "We have kids who are hungry and that's what we're here for. They can't learn if they're hungry."

"Not every district can afford to quit," the AP reported. "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."

Email: eschulzke@desnews.com

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