Schools say lunch program needs a change

Published 12/10 2013 11:58AM

Updated 12/10 2013 12:02PM

PANA -- The National School Lunch Program is supposed to help make sure kids get a good meal during the day, but the recent changes mean some kids are going hungry instead. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels explains the problem and what one lawmaker wants to do about it.

When it comes to school cafeteria food, we all had a favorite and least favorite.

"They serve us cauliflower, but no one likes cauliflower."

Schools say, this year, the list of "least favorites" is way up. That's because new school lunch guidelines require certain foods be served, like dark green veggies and whole grains.

Supporters say it's important since kids might not get healthy food at home. But, the problem is, a lot of kids don't like the healthy stuff.

"Our chicken nuggets used to be our favorite thing and then, this year, they're all wheat and, like really nasty, and doesn't even taste good."

Hollie Johnson says it means sometimes she leaves the lunchroom without feeling full.

"Sometimes they don't give us what we want to, so we eat PBJ and then we go the whole day with just that."

But, schools say their hands are tied.

"I try to get the most nutritious plate meal out there for the children for them to learn and then I'm not able to do that by following these guidelines."

That's why Congressman Rodney Davis (R) is stepping in. He wants the White House to have to follow the same menu when it serves meals. That way, federal regulators will realize changes need to be made so kids like Hollie Johnson can get a health meal which will go in their mouths instead of the trash can.

"I'd rather have more variety and flexibility that the kids will eat. That's the main point, that the kids go home without being hungry."

Many schools have dropped out of the lunch program because of the changes. They say they're losing money every day since fewer students buy the food.

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