Tag Archives: School Lunch

Obama Lunches Suck – School Chefs Skirt Regs to Feed Kids

school-lunch-michelle-obamaMichelle Obama’s lunch menu sucks and the “lunch lady” lobby joins the rest of America in telling President Obama’s wife where she can stick her terrible food.

The LA Times reports that the ingredients school cooks are forced to use are terrible:

A school system’s nutritional director finds there’s one advocate for healthy food whose demands she just can’t meet — Michelle Obama.

 

 

“We have tried every noodle that is out there,” said Gitta Grether-Sweeney, the Portland nutritional director who says she is exasperated by the federal school lunch rules the first lady champions.

 

 

“Whole-wheat noodles just don’t work in lasagna. We are having to go lawless to use regular pasta.”

The locally sourced macaroni and cheese the schools had been serving turned to mush when it was made with whole-grain macaroni to meet the new rules, Grether-Sweeney said.

Mrs. Obama has the advantage of having her children in expensive private schools and fed by well-paid White House chefs. Professing from the balcony that America’s kids should eat crappy food just seems kind of …. crappy.

Costs Up, Quality Down for School Lunch

MyPlateSchools across the U.S. are struggling to meet the school lunch requirements championed by First Lady Michelle Obama and regulated by the Departments of Agriculture and Education. School boards continue to raise the prices of school lunch while simultaneously reducing the amount of healthy foods offered to students.

The new school lunch requirements, defined in the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA), have prompted the Government Accountability Office to recommend the Department of Agriculture modify its regulations. The GAO investigated several schools and food distributors and found a decrease in meat and grains served to students, and an increase in sugar, salt, and fat, in direct opposition to the stated goals of the new nutrition standards passed by Congress in 2010.

As schools struggle to meet the new calorie counts and portion sizes, many are having to raise prices in order to meet the federal standards and receive federal funding.

The Lynchburg City School Board is the latest in a list of schools nationwide to debate increased school lunch prices. The board is considering the price hike as a result of the new federal mandates on pricing and food offerings. In recent months, prices in Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, and elsewhere have increased by 10, 15 and even 25 cents per student.

In many cases, the quality of foods offered to students has decreased despite the price jump. One fourth grader went undercover to document the quality of his New York City public school lunch offering. Video here: Yuck! In his documentary, Zachary Maxwell records his school lunches for six months and brings to light the vast difference between what the Department of Education and his school say publicly about the lunch menu and the reality of what is actually served to students.

The GAO found some schools substitute whole grain chips for potato chips, natural shredded cheese for processed cheese sauce, and add high-in-fat sauces like ranch dressing in order to meet the minimum calorie requirements. Ketchup and pizza sauce are considered “vegetables” in some cases and hamburger patty sizes have nearly been cut in half.

The Department of Agriculture has agreed to temporarily suspend some meat and grain limits until further review, but students still aren’t buying it. Many reports have emerged from students and school districts all over the country saying students are left hungry and are in some cases boycotting the meals.

To learn more about the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and the War on School Lunch, click here.

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Trashing School Lunch

garbage-can1Another unintended consequence of the new school lunch mandates from the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act is emerging. Schools are opting out of the federal school lunch program altogether.

Fox News’ Rick Leventhal reported on a New York school that has decided to forego participating in the federal school lunch program which provides funding to districts that follow certain guidelines including calorie counts and green energy initiatives. Schools use the federal monies to allocate free and reduced lunches to students in need, as defined by federal law.

See the video report here.

Leventhal reports that kids have stopped buying school lunches in favor of bringing it from home, or in many cases, students are throwing fruits and vegetables into the trash instead of eating them. One contributor to Leventhal’s report suggested that the extremely low calorie counts required by the law may leave students so hungry they will binge when they get home from school, which could actually contribute to unhealthy eating habits.

The New York school in Leventhal’s report isn’t the only one to ditch the federal school lunch program. Superintendent Kay Salvaggio of Niskayuna told the Times Union that her school will also be dumping the program citing wasted food, smaller portion sizes and financial reasons.

Disguised as a plan to reduce childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama championed the HHFKA in 2010. Included in the law, however are vast overreaches of federal government authority, higher costs for individual schools, and “green energy” demands.

School Lunch Price Hikes Coming

School_LunchThanks to the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, school lunches are about to get a price hike.

The HHFKA was touted as a way to include more healthy foods in school lunches from Kindergarten through high school, but it’s proving to be a very expensive measure with unintended consequences.

Wythe County schools in Virginia are telling parents they will need to pay more for their students’ lunches in the next school year. The HHFKA requires that districts charge as much for each meal as is being reimbursed to the district for free and reduced lunch program meals. For Wythe County, that means a 10 cent increase for families not on the program.

According to Dr. Wesley Poole, director of facilities and operations for the district, keeping in compliance with the Act will be difficult as the reimbursement amounts change frequently.

The new law also imposes strict rules on calorie counts and nutritional requirements. In Somerset, Pennsylvania, the Berlin school district has been feeling the affects of smaller meal sizes in order to comply.

“It’s difficult to justify raising prices when we have smaller portions for students,” school board member Terry Metzgar told The Daily American, a local newspaper.

He explained that it’s difficult to find a “happy medium” because all students are not the same size and require different amounts of food at lunchtime.

With rising food costs, many districts have had to resort to smaller portion sizes to meet the new calorie standards.

The Heathy Hunger Free Kids Act, though championed by First Lady Michelle Obama as a method to reduce childhood obesity, is laced with environmental policy, Department of Agriculture initiatives and has strayed very far from the original intended purposes of the school lunch program. Read more here and here.

Every school district in the United States has to comply with the new school lunch standards or risk losing funding for free and reduced lunches.

GET TO KNOW THE WAR ON SCHOOL LUNCH!
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Students Mock Michelle Antoinette Obama: ‘We Are Hungry’

The Blaze has the story behind this video that’s gone viral, which mocks Michelle Obama’s new school lunch mandate.

This story is personal for my family.

In previous years, I would give my children a snack when they came in from school, but this year, from the very first day they came in starving! At first I thought it may be due to earlier lunch schedules than previously, or something of that nature. However, as we talked to the kids about their lunch, it hit me that Michelle Antoinette Obama’s mandates are now in effect. I now have to give my kids lunch when they get home. They still eat their dinner, with no problem at all. It’s obvious they are not being fed enough at school. However, there are those that do not think Michelle has gone far enough in her mandates, and have petitioned the USDA to ban  milk from school lunches.

Now that I know my kids are not the only ones who are hungry, I think it’s time I start sending them to school with a lunch box… loaded with LOTS of cookies on the side!

 

War on school lunch

Much attention has been given to the story of the now famous turkey sandwich and apple juice confiscated from a preschool student by the food nazi. That incident started a firestorm of internet activity and even a protest “Lunch In” in Washington, D.C., but not a lot of talk has surfaced about the origins of the recent school lunch takeover movement and the true impact on individual school districts.

Admitting failure

“For the federal government, admitting failure is a difficult thing.”

Remember the Food Pyramid? For decades, school children from the age of 4 have been taught about the pyramid (and now the “plate” model) in a myriad of subjects. In elementary school, the students learn to read, have science lessons and even take special classes using texts about nutrition guidelines set by the U.S. Departments of Health, Education and Agriculture. As the students grow within the public school system, the nutrition lessons become more intense and continue to infiltrate multiple class subjects until high school where students can take an entire semester or more related to the federal government’s nutrition guidelines.

A great deal of money and resources have been spent in schools across the country to “educate” our youth about proper nutrition. The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act signed into law in 2010 slates more than $4.5 billion toward the federal takeover of school lunch menus.

If the billions of dollars spent on nutrition programs were working, the U.S. wouldn’t have obesity issues in children or a need for more “programs” right? Clearly, the federal government has not proven itself trustworthy to properly and effectively educate children in the subject of nutrition.

Follow the money

Obviously, the programs instituted to keep children nutritionally balanced as seen fit by the federal government have thus far failed by their own stated goals. So what is the real reason for the push to control school lunch?

Since the passing of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act of 1946, the federal government has been manipulating school lunches across the country. The original law was “enacted with the intent to provide free and reduced lunches to children whose families were suffering financially and to inflate the decreased food prices that resulted from farm surpluses.” (Examiner.com) For decades now, Congress has repeatedly perverted and amended the legislation to include nutrition standards and increased federal authority over individual school districts, which has inevitably provided financial opportunity by way of farm subsidies and government contracts.

Page 117 of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act reads:
“Procurement and Processing of Food Service Products and Commodities – The Secretary shall identify, develop, disseminate to State departments of agriculture and education, school food authorities, local educational agencies, and local processing entities, model product specifications and practices for foods offered in school nutrition programs under this Act.”

Translation: The federal government will control every aspect of school food from its production to the time it reaches your child’s mouth. The Secretary of Education will have the authority to determine which foods schools will be allowed to provide and where those foods will be purchased, as well as HOW those foods will be processed and distributed.

The Act grants the Department of Education to dictate how the foods will be stored and prepared as well. Can you say, “GE Refrigerators?”

The law also states that the Secretary will determine if certain foods are in surplus and thus require their purchase by service institutions. So if California has an abundance of oranges in February, Minnesotans could potentially be required to purchase them and serve them to school children, regardless of cost, or face the possibility of not receiving federal funding for free and reduced school lunches that they MUST provide under penalty of federal law. How much gas money would it take to ship fresh oranges from L.A. to St. Paul?

It doesn’t stop at schools

According to the Act, which seems to be the driving force behind the food nazis in public schools, the law expands the reach of government’s greedy fingers into other “service institutions.”

“The term ‘service institution’ means a public or private nonprofit school food authority, local municipal, or country government, public or private higher education institution participating in the National Youth Sports Program, or residential public or private nonprofit summer camp, that develops special summer or school vacation programs providing food service similar to food service made available to children during the school year under the school lunch program.”

Uh, what? So will local Vacation Bible Schools have to adhere to the energy standards of the HHFKA? What about the Boy Scouts camps? Will they be able to supply Oscar Mayer hot dogs and s’mores ’round the campfire? Or will they have to check with the Secretary of the United States Department of Education?
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For more on the HHFKA and the Child Nutrition Scam, click here.