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Some schools reportedly quitting new healthier lunch program

Federal officials confirm there are isolated reports of schools opting out.

August 28, 2013
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Some schools opt out of new healthier lunch program

According to an AP report, some schools are beginning to quit the new healthier lunch program just a year after it was put in place. Federal officials confirm isolated incidents of schools opting out of the program, which reimburses schools for meals and gives them access to lower-priced food in exchange for healthier offerings, because of poor student response to a fruit, vegetable and whole-grain packed menu.

According to the report, some districts were unable to offset losses from students who stopped buying school lunch with federal reimbursement money. A district in Catlin, Ill saw sales drop between 10 and 12 percent last year, and an upstate New York district ended the year $100,000 in the red.

"The vast majority of schools across the country are meeting the updated meal standards successfully, which is so important to help all our nation's children lead healthier lives," says Dr. Janey Thornton, deputy undersecretary for USDA's Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. "Many of these children have never seen or tasted some of the fruits and vegetables that are being served before, and it takes a while to adapt and learn."

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