FORT MILL, S.C. – Powerade was replaced with water. Mayo was banned, too.
Such are the conditions in the Fort Mills High School cafeteria.
“When lunch ends, I feel that the trash cans are more full than my stomach,” student Lindsey Russell tells the Fort Mill Times.
That’s happening because schools are required to give students certain types of foods to remain in compliance with National School Lunch Program regulations championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.
“If I don’t want an apple or piece of bread and I am handed them, I can guarantee that it will end up going to waste,” Russell says.
High school senior Luca Botzenhardt says he tastes a difference and he’s “disappointed.” Even the sauces taste differently this year.
“I would like to change the fact that our Powerade was taken away and replaced with water,” Botzenhardt tells the paper. “I would also bring back the mayonnaise, because it is a necessity for my sandwiches.”
The South Carolina district apparently hasn’t considered dropping out of the program and forgoing the tight rules.
“It makes it very challenging to meet standards when calories have to be considered,” Roland Cabading, the Fort Mill district nutrition supervisor says.
“If we use spices like onions, garlic or chili powder, we must make sure the taste will appeal to the students.”
It apparently isn’t.
Meanwhile, schools in North Dakota are grappling with the rules, as well.
“The 2014-15 school year marks the first sodium target for schools at 1,230 milligrams per lunch for elementary students and 1,420 milligrams for high school students,” the AP reports.
A child nutrition employee for Bismarck Public Schools says complying with the rules is a challenge because “salt is in nearly everything.”
The state is recommending schools make lunches from scratch, instead of buying pre-packaged meals.
Many schools have gone the latter route as the fat, sodium, and sugar contents are listed on a label.
Lunch leaders have to justify the contents to the federal government in order to remain in compliance.