By Kyle Olson
CATLIN, Ill. – Students in at least one school district will be saved from Michelle Obama’s “restrictive” federal school lunch takeover.
The federal school lunch guidelines that garnered much discontent among students, school staff and parents, are set to fully go into effect in the fall.
But students in the Catlin, Illinois district won’t be enduring the rumbling tummies of other students around the country.
“We’re going to have the freedom to do more stuff with our own program, and we want to give people options,” Superintendent Gary Lewis told The News-Gazette.
School officials decided to pull out of the National School Lunch Program earlier this spring, after seeing a decline in the number of meals that were served and too much food going into the garbage last year, the paper reported.
“When the federal government changed the nutrition guidelines, they became very restrictive,” said Lewis. “If a kid is hungry, they’re not going to be able to concentrate in class. We need to work to make sure they’re full. That will increase their potential.
“We had to not only offer vegetables but vegetables of a certain color, and we had to offer them so many times a week. I will eat kale. But if I tried to get my 11- and 7-year-old to eat kale, they will look at me like, ‘What are you putting on my plate?’”
The superintendent told the paper he received “numerous complaints from students and parents about the new food offerings.”
As a result of opting out, the school district will be increasing its meal prices “slightly” to compensate for the loss of the government subsidy.
Catlin is the latest of many school districts throughout the nation to opt out of the Michelle Obama-promoted overhaul.