DALLAS, Texas–Sending a child to public school is becoming an increasing battle not only for who controls their hearts and minds but also their stomachs. Come September, students in all 50 states will step right back into a Fed Led food fight that started when First Lady Michelle Obama declared war on obesity.
On July 1, the standards got stricter for all participants in the National School Lunch Program that is shepherded out of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has forced schools to limit calories, trans fats and sodium, while serving students a wider variety of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, and axe portion sizes.However, the lunch lady in chief’s program’s been working out so well that the only increase the feds have seen is a noticeable uptick in food thrown in thegarbage.
In May, Michelle Malkin blogged on “Big Lunch,” noting the School Nutrition Association’s findings — almost half of school meal programs reported declines in revenue in the 2012-13 school year, and “90 percent said food costs were up.”
But that’s only half of the problem. Malkin recalled the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) declaring the “first lady’s federally subsidized initiative a “flop” and a “disaster” with principals reporting massive waste, with unopened milk cartons and uneaten entrees being thrown away.
It’s only gotten worse. LAUSD, which is the second largest school system in the United States serves 650,000 meals each day, the Los Angeles Times reported. “Students throw out at least $100,000 worth of food a day.” According to the district’s food services director David Binkle that amounts to $18 million a year — “based on a conservative estimate of 10% food waste.”
Breitbart Texas obtained recent photographs of federally mandated afterschool snacks from a Los Angeles area elementary school that illustrated the reality of trashed Fed Led food. The source asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, told Breitbart Texas, “This is the afterschool snack that kids throw away untouched, because they are forced to take it whether they want it or not. Our school gets money for every child that takes a meal.”
This statement fell in line with Binkle’s comments to the Times. He noted that under the “federal school meal rules finalized in 2012, studentsmust take at least three items including one fruit or vegetable even if they don’t want them. Otherwise, the federal government won’t reimburse schooldistricts for the meals.”
Binkle added, “What can we do about this?” he added, then stated “We can stop forcing children to take food they don’t like and throw in thegarbage.”
Today, public school kids are caught in the crossfire of Big Mother’s madness over every morsel that enters their mouths during and even after the school day. Not every school district or every kid is onboard.
The Carroll Independent School District (ISD) which serves the Dallas Fort Worth area suburb of Southlake and neighboring sections of northwestGrapevine, Colleyville and Westlake said no to Fed Led food for the 2013-14 school year.
Dallas CBS affiliate KRLD reported that nutrition services director Mary Brunig called the requirements too restrictive. “You have to follow exactly what is in this meal pattern, if you are in the national school lunch program.”
Brunig told KRLD that, as a result, a lot of food wound up in the trash. “With the new program in place, the new meal pattern, our participation started to drop. And the other thing was there was food waste. Children were not eating the food,” she said. “If the children aren’t eating the food, there’s no nutrition.”
Carroll ISD took a stand in Texas. In Wisconsin, so did a handful of Milwaukee area school districts. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that local school districts Muskego-Norway, Waterford Graded, Waterford Union High School and Central High School District of Westosha all opted out of the national lunch program this Spring.
District officials pointed out that they are “all for healthy food, but they have to sell enough hot lunches to break even on the program — and that won’t work if the kids shun the food,” according to the Journal Sentinel. Some district officials also didn’t like the federal intrusion.
“We believe that proper food nutrition and meal portion guidelines are best decided at a local level,” said Rick Petfalski, School Board presidentfor the Muskego-Norway School District.
Opting out means no more federal free lunch money but, as the Milwaukee newspaper put it, it also means a district is free to serve whateverfood it wants.
“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 beenelected by no one,” Petfalski added.
Central High School district administrator Scott Pierce also voiced his concerns about uneaten food ending up in trash bins. He was confident that thedistrict would make up the lost federal funds though the use of a local, private vendor, the article stated. “We’re not trying to fatten up our kids,” he added. “We’re trying to give them food they like.”
The powerful addiction to the government teat that drives so much in Fed Led Ed may well dictate why so many school districts stay enrolled in the failed lunch program. Weatherford ISD, located 20 miles West of Fort Worth, is an example. Director of Child Nutrition Jerolyn Goodman told KRLD in their news report that the district was sticking with the lunch program. She went onto say that fiscally Weatherford couldn’t afford not to. Districts with high numbers of students who get free and discounted lunches can’t afford to quit because they would lose the program’s cash reimbursements,” she said.
KRLD listed North Texas districts that participate in national school lunch including Allen, Birdsville, Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Dallas, Denton, Duncanville, Grand Prairie, Lewisville, Mesquite, Northwest, and Richardson among the roster.
However, Texas students fed-up with Fed Led food launched a national Twitter campaign this year, begging “No more, Mrs. Obama,” according to Twitchy. It was spearheaded by a 19 year-old Johnson County high school student and self-described conservative activist Ty Caskey, who headed up his school’s chapter of Turning Point USA, a national group that educates students about the importance of fiscal responsibility free markets, and capitalism through non-partisan debate, dialogue, and discussion.
According to the Houston Press, Caskey asked peers to tweet photographs of the food and the miniscule portions in protest of government grub. “In a brief manifesto, Caskey asks us to posit living in an America where everything is controlled and regulated by a government,” the outlet noted.
The campaign is mainly on Twitter but, according to the article, kids were encouraged to post on Facebook and on other social media sites to get the word out. Their beef was with the lunch lady and their rallying cry — “No More, Mrs. Obama.”
The Johnson County chapter has since asked students across Texas and the other 49 states to join them in protest by tweeting #lunchmovement with photos of their disappointing school lunches. Even a few parents have gotten in on posting their kids’ measly school lunches.
“Kids aren’t getting enough to eat thanks to the law’s stringent requirements; others are skipping lunch altogether because it tastesso bad. What’s more, obesity among school-aged children is still on the rise,” according to the Independent Journal Review who sourced a Center for DiseaseControl study from a Reuters report on U.S. childhood obesity climbing since 1999 despite FLOTUS and her ObamaFood plan.
While it’s still summer make sure the kids get all the fun food in because Fall semester they will meet these federal regulations on the lunch line. This includes all bread and pasta products to be at least 50% whole-grain-rich by weight. According to the Journal Sentinel article, the USDA rolled this back from 100% whole grain-rich in response to heavy criticism from schools in May.
More new school food rules require all foods to have fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein products as their first listed ingredient. Kid-friendly staples like chicken nuggets and pizza are contraband unless they can adhere to less than 200 calories per serving and less than 230 milligrams of sodium. Trans fats need not apply, although saturated and unsaturated fats are fine as long as they comprise less than 35% of total calories.
Snacks must be less than 350 calories and sodium less than 480 milligrams. The Journal Sentinel article also pointed out that this requirementfundraisers that involve bake sales that vary by state.
Follow Merrill Hope, an original member of the Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter @OutofTheBoxMom.