WATERFORD, Wis. – More school districts are turning their nose up at government intrusion into their school cafeterias and are dropping out of the federal lunch program.
By participating in the National School Lunch Program, school districts trade flexibility and autonomy for federal cash.
After the 2010 Michelle Obama-inspired lunch menu overhaul produced massive amounts of wasted food, programs losing money and students left hungry, many districts decided they’d had enough.
Wisconsin’s Waterford school district is one of the latest to ditch the new menu after its school board voted unanimously this week.
“They’ll continue to cover the costs of low-income students’ meals — likely by spending less on fruits and vegetables that students simply throw away, and by serving slightly less healthy but overall tastier meals to increase lunch participation among paying students,” the Journal Times reports.
Superintendent Keith Brandstetter told the newspaper the new regulations “just restrict us a little too much.”
“The taste has gotten a lot worse and the portions have gotten a lot smaller,” junior D.J. McGilvary tells the Journal Times. “The pizza my freshman year tasted good, and now it tastes like cardboard. And nachos — there’s a lot less chips than there used to be.”
“The rationale is there’s going to be less waste and they can serve a better product and they can sell more, which will increase profit and will offset some of the other losses,” Brandstetter says.
Waterford isn’t alone.