83% of nation’s schools report more lunches dumped by kids

Oct 14, 2014 by

Paul Bedard –

As school children continue to protest Michelle Obama’s push for healthier lunches by dumping their full trays into garbage bins, the nation’s school boards are joining in to demand that the Obama administration let them off the hook of serving the costly and tasteless meals.

Armed with a national poll for National School Lunch Week, the National School Boards Association on Monday demanded that Washington address the “onerous requirements for federal school meal programs.”

How bad are the rules heralded by the first lady, who recently ripped Republicans for calling for the very program exceptions from the 2010 law sought by school administrators?

The survey of school leaders revealed:

— 83.7 percent of school districts saw an increase in plate waste.

— 81.8 percent had an increase in cost.

— 76.5 percent saw a decrease in participation by students.

— 75 percent of school leaders want an increase in federal funding for school districts to comply with the new standards.

— 60.3 percent want flexibility for school districts to improve their ability to provide good nutrition without harm to instruction, personnel, and other school district operations.

“As we celebrate National School Lunch Week, we must address the visible realities of complying with school nutrition requirements,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel in a statement.

“Our poll shows that school leaders are in favor of good nutrition for children but concerned with the unintended consequences of the current federal regulations. Trays of uneaten cafeteria food thrown in the trash, hungry kids, and struggling school food-service programs are the practical realities many school districts and students face.”

The 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act calls for limits on fat, sugar and salt and a higher use of whole grains and veggies.

The association said that local communities should be the ones figuring out how to deal with hunger needs.

“Overly rigid and unrealistic federal mandates undermine the ability of school districts to do what the law intends: prepare and serve nutritious food that enables America’s public schoolchildren to grow, learn, and thrive,” said Gentzel. “Students need healthy meals and adequate nutrition to achieve their potential in school, and school board members are committed to ensuring all students are prepared to learn. However, school boards cannot ignore the higher costs and operational issues created by the rigid mandates of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.”

via Yuck: 83% of nation’s schools report more lunches dumped by kids | WashingtonExaminer.com.

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