School District Quits Fed Lunch Program: ‘Kids Won’t Eat That’

A Kentucky school district is opting out of the federal school lunch program because it says students don’t like the meals required under new guidelines, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

“The calorie limitations and types of foods that have to be provided … have resulted in the kids just saying ‘I’m not going to eat that,'” said Gene Kirchner, superintendent of Fort Thomas Independent Schools.

More schools are opting out of the program, which requires use of whole grains breads and low-fat or no-fat dairy products among other things. First lady Michelle Obama championed the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act as part of the national fight against childhood obesity.

But school districts are seeing children throw more food in the garbage. Worse for school districts: Some students are bringing their own lunches, eating at nearby fast-food restaurants or skipping lunch altogether.

That loss of students taking part in the school lunch program means less money for their school districts at the same time that the districts are having to pay more for the more healthful food required by the law.