GAO: 1.6m paying students drop school lunches because food’s lousy

GAO: 1.6m paying students drop school lunches because food’s lousy

Despite an increase in the number of students who receive free meals as a part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign,  1.6 million students have dropped out of the school lunch program,  according to a Government Accountability Office Report (GAO), which  noted that part of the decline was due to the palatability of the lunch  offerings, and “plate waste” – students throwing away some of the food.

“All eight SFAs [school food authorities] we visited also noted that  students expressed dislike for certain foods that were served to comply with the new requirements, such as whole grain-rich products and  vegetables in the beans and peas (legumes) and red-orange sub-groups,  and this may have affected participation,” said the GAO in its report…

The school food authorities noted that changes made to sandwiches  led “to a middle and high school boycott of school lunch by students  that lasted for 3 weeks and, at the same time, “participation in school  lunch significantly declined in those schools.” …

“The decrease in the total number of students eating school lunches  during the last two school years was driven primarily by a decrease of  1.6 million students paying full price for meals, despite increases in  the number of students eating school lunches who receive free meals,”  said the report.

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