I’d almost say, “Poor Michelle,” but I won’t. I will say instead that hurrays were earned from the kids in the second-largest school district in Illinois. That organization just joyfully dumped the lunch program rather than suffer any more financial loss from tossed-away food and cringes over the ‘unreasonable restrictions’ within Michelle’s preferred menu.
Earlier this summer the basic plan was revised and instituted. Now there are more restrictions on nutrients required, salt intake, fats, carbohydrates, and calories. Unfortunately, there are more rejections of the food than ever. The district is losing almost $1 million annually to reinstitute its own menu.
District 214 Associate Superintendent Cathy Johnson states,
“So far so good. The meals, as you’ve seen, look fantastic, and there’s a lot of excitement.”
The excitement pertains to the new menu. Excitement seems a large change from the downhearted, no-choice purchase of food plates that see much of the individual items thrown away for lack of good taste.
The program’s restrictions have resulted in more than 1 million students rejecting lunch purchases annually and have wasted over $1 billion in food waste per year.
Many other school districts have dropped from this program since its inception. Two New York systems closed the door on it this week alone, for example.
“[T]he unreasonable restrictions on protein, sodium and fat made preparing meals students would buy nearly impossible, while the district-inspired menu ‘would be far simpler.'”
Administrators said that the restrictions on fat, protein, and sodium made food preparation practically impossible. The district wasn’t making enough in lunch sales to qualify for the subsidy, so they surrendered the potential $900,000 to make their own menu.