NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

83 Percent of Nation's Schools Report More Lunches Dumped by Kids

October 14, 2014

School children continue to dump their full lunch trays into garbage bins in protest of Michelle Obama's push for healthier lunches. School boards are demanding that the Obama administration relieve them of serving "costly and tasteless meals." The National School Boards Association demanded today that Washington address the "onerous requirements for federal school meal programs."

A survey of school leaders revealed:

  • 83.7 percent of school districts saw an increase in plate waste
  • 81.8 percent had an increase in cost
  • 76.5 percent  saw a decrease in participation by students
  • 75 percent  of school leaders want increased federal funding to comply with the new meal program standards
  • 60.3 percent want flexibility for school districts to improve nutrition "without harm to instruction, personnel, and other school district operations."

School leaders support good nutrition for children but are concerned with trays of uneaten cafeteria food in trash cans, hungry children, and struggling food-service programs.

According to the National School Boards Association\'s stance, addressing hunger needs should fall on local communities rather than schools. The current federal school meal mandates are "overly rigid and unrealistic" and undermine the ability of school districts to "prepare and serve nutritious food that enables America's public schoolchildren to grow, learn, and thrive." School boards cannot ignore the higher costs and operational issues created by the mandates.

Source:  Paul Bedard, "Yuck: 83% of Nation's Schools Report More Lunches Dumped by Kids," Washington Examiner, October 13, 2014.


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