MUSKEGO, Wis. – There’s growing heartburn over federal school lunch regulations and now school board members are lashing out at First Lady Michelle Obama, the champion of the program overhaul.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
“We believe that proper food nutrition and meal portion guidelines are best decided at a local level,” said Rick Petfalski, School Board president for the Muskego-Norway School District.
Opting out of the program means Muskego-Norway will no longer receive federal money for its meals, but it also means the district is free to serve whatever it wants.
Already losing money because fewer kids were buying the meals, the district will now have to cover the cost of free and reduced lunches on its own. It will do this partly by spending less on foods that students don’t eat and — they believe — increasing the number of kids buying lunches by providing tastier meals.
Under the school lunch program regulations, Petfalski said, the district’s food service was projected to be headed toward a $54,000 deficit. By opting out — and presumably selling more food — he expects about a $7,100 surplus.
“By leaving the program we will not be required to follow these onerous guidelines, pushed by and large by Michelle Obama, who last I checked has been elected by no one,” Petfalski said. (emphasis added)
The great irony is that Petfalski’s district will actually net more money by turning down the federal reimbursements.
Meanwhile, Waterford Graded superintendent Christopher Joch told the paper, “There was a lot of waste.”
He added, “The food ended up in the garbage instead of the kids’ mouths.”
The chorus of complaints is only likely to increase as the feds up their regulations by cutting sugary and fatty snacks, effective July 1.
At least one district – the Edmonds School District in Washington – has banned cupcakes for birthday celebrations.