NM school drops Michelle O lunch rules as program future in doubt

Jan 6, 2017 by

SANTA FE, N.M. – A small New Mexico charter school is dropping out of the National School Lunch Program because officials contend government subsidies that come with participation aren’t enough to cover expenses.

Monte del Sol Head Learner Robert Jessen told the Santa Fe New Mexican the school recently notified parents it can no longer afford to cover the roughly $40,000 a year cost to provide free- and reduced-price lunches for needy students through the National School Lunch Program.

“We receive $3 from the federal government for each free lunch we serve,” he wrote to parents last month. “However, it costs more to serve that lunch. For the last several years the school has been able to pay the difference, but this year we can not.”

Monte del Sol joins hundreds of other schools across the nation that have dropped out of the National School Lunch Program since the U.S. Department of Agriculture imposed strict regulations on calories, sugar, fat, sodium, whole grains, fruits and vegetables at the behest of first lady Michelle Obama in 2012, EAGnews reports.

Many of the schools have cited increased costs associated with the regulations and declining cafeteria revenues because students refuse to eat the less appetizing offerings. In many cases, forgoing the federal subsidies to serve students foods they will buy and eat was the motivating factor.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus is now calling on President-elect Donald Trump to “rethink” the federal school food restrictions within the first 100 days from taking office, EAGnews reports.

Santa Fe Public Schools superintendent Veronica Garcia told the New Mexican “economies of a scale play a role” in whether it makes financial sense for schools to participate in the federal food program.

Source: NM school drops Michelle O lunch rules as program future in doubt | EAGnews.org

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