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www.wmfd.com - Several school districts are saying "thanks but no thanks" to the new health-focused federal school lunch program. }}" />

   
 
 
Some School Districts Drop Out Of Healthier Lunch Programs

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 8/30/2013 Several school districts are saying "thanks but no thanks" to the new health-focused federal school lunch program. It seems oven-baked fish nuggets, whole wheat rolls and steamed broccoli are not making the grade with some kids who are used to pizza, hot dogs and french fries. Elizabeth Cohen reports. The nation's new healthier school lunches, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama. are packed with more fruits and vegetables, but they're getting a failing grade from some students. Several school districts are dropping out of the government-subsidized lunch program after just one year because they say students are rejecting the healthier fare. "The children didn't have options," says Teresa Thayer Snyder, Voorheesville Central School District Supt. "They had to take what was there. And, it's not what they wanted to eat. So frequently they stopped buying lunch from us." In upstate New York, the Voorheesville School District says it lost $30,000 in three months. "It began to be not cost-effective for us to continue in that program," says Snyder. Across the nation, some kids say calorie limits are too harsh, many of them are bringing food from home. High school students in Kansas made this YouTube video, complete with feigned fainting. Federal health officials say the vast majority of schools are meeting the new guidelines which set limits on calories, salt and fat. And, in a a statement, they said: "We also encourage the very few eligible school districts that have chosen not to participate in the program to take steps to ensure all children will still have access to healthy, affordable meals during the school day." The schools that have dropped out say their lunches are healthy. "We feel we have attracted back many studens who had stopped buying lunches and we have many students excited about eating at school," says Snyder. The dropouts are unusual. In a survey, fewer than one percent of schools indicated they're dropping out of the program.
   
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