Food Fight: Cafeteria Workers Say Kids Don’t Want Michelle Obama’s Lunches, Sales Down in 49 States

School cafeteria workers, already frustrated that kids don’t like menus ordered by Michelle Obama and the Agriculture Department, slapped as “offensive” the first lady’s latest criticism that some school districts have given up and are just lazily serving junk food.

“It is offensive to America’s frontline cafeteria professionals to say that those who struggle with the national decline in school lunch participation have simply said, ‘Well, the kids like junk food, so let’s just give ’em junk food,’ ” said Patti Montague, chief executive of the School Nutrition Association, in a letter to the White House.

“Our members are not offering their students junk food,” she added in the letter, the latest by the group to get the first lady’s attention to the huge drop in school lunch participation due to the awful taste and higher costs of the foods now pushed by Obama.

At a White House event earlier this week, the first lady praised school districts that are offering the healthy menus — and took a shot at those who aren’t.

“In a number of school districts, participation in the lunch program has actually risen. And there’s a simple reason for that: It’s because those districts actually put some effort into marketing the new meals to the kids. They didn’t just sit back and say, well, the kids like junk food so let’s just give them junk food,” she said.