September 26, 2012

Healthy Lunch Backlash


Maggie: Brandy Welvaert is a hungry guy.

Brandy Welvaert: Yeah.

Maggie: That’s because he plays soccer, hockey, and lacrosse for Holmen High School in Wisconsin. And he says this year’s new school lunches just don’t cut it.

Brandy: I’m tired. I don’t get the same amount of energy that I need because I need to get more calories than normal. And I don’t get them with school lunch at all.

Maggie: Every high school student is supposed to get no more than 850 calories per meal. That lines up with recommendations from leading doctors around the nation.

In Mukwonago, Wisconsin, students have launched a boycott. And since they started brown bagging it, school lunch purchases dropped from 800 a day to just 290. And in Kansas, the Sharon Springs school district has taken their cafeteria protest to YouTube. In a video that’s been viewed almost a hundred thousand times, students complain that the new lunches just don’t give them enough energy.

Federal officials say these new regulations are healthy for most students and do tackle the country’s obesity problem. They say students just need to get used to the healthier options. For example, under the new regulations, students are required to take either a fruit or vegetable.

Mike Gasper: In addition to the five components that a child can take – between the milk, the main entree, the bread, the fruit and vegetable – we also allow them to take an extra fruit and vegetable for a total of seven items on the tray. So there really isn’t a reason for any child to go hungry.

Maggie: But too many times, that extra healthy food just ends up in the trash.

Mike: The bottom line with what we’re doing here is really what’s good for kids, to help them to live a long and healthy life and to hopefully teach them some good living skills.

Maggie: Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.


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