A $3.2 billion public school lunch scheme devised by Michelle Obama has been axed from at least one public school system in New York after students forced to eat according to the new standards were literally starving. According to reports, the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (BH-BL) School District near Schenectady voted to scrap the National School Lunch Program starting in September 2013 after determining it to be a complete failure, both practically and financially.
A recent press release issued by the district explains that Obama’s eating plan, which was implemented back in September 2012, simply did not work at its schools. Students rejected many of the food offerings because they were too expensive, for instance, or came in shockingly meager portions. The district itself was also spending so much money on the unwanted food that it ended up losing hundreds of thousands of dollars due to waste.
“Mrs. Boehm and her staff worked hard to implement the new regulations, but there were just too many problems and too many foods that students did not like and would not purchase,” said Chris Abdoo, assistant superintendent of BH-BL, concerning efforts by the district’s food service manager, Nicky Boehm, to make the program work. “Students complained of being hungry with these lunches and the district lost money. I’m confident we can do better on our own next year.”
Prior to implementing the Obama plan, the BH-BL School District took pride in its food offerings, operating “in the black” financially year after year while effectively meeting students’ nutritional needs. But everything changed during the 2012-13 school year, when food offerings and portion sizes changed dramatically, and for the worst, as a result of the Obama plan. Students simply did not want what was being offered to them, and many of them brought in food from home just to stay nourished.
“Students felt they weren’t getting good value for their money,” added Boehm, who says her district went $100,000 in the red this past year as a result of implementing the Obama plan. “The high schoolers especially complained the portion sizes were too small, and many more students brought in lunch from home.”
Illinois school district dumps federal school lunch guidelines before even fully implementing them
Not surprisingly, the BH-BL School District is not the only one to have recently dumped the Obama school lunch plan. According to The News-Gazette, Michelle Obama’s takeover of the lunch program at public schools in Catlin, Illinois, went similarly sour, and school officials recently decided to end the program before it could even be fully implemented in the fall. Students at Catlin schools reportedly cheered when they found out about the news.
“When the federal government changed the nutrition guidelines, they became very restrictive,” said Superintendent Gary Lewis from the Catlin School District to The News-Gazette. “If a kid is hungry, they’re not going to be able to concentrate in class. We need to work to make sure they’re full. That will increase their potential.”
Like other public school districts that have chosen to opt out of the Obama plan, Catlin public schools will lose their federal government lunch program subsidies, which means food costs will increase slightly. But school officials say it is worth it, as spending a little bit more on food to acquire freedom from the oppressive program will have lasting benefits.
“We’re going to have the freedom to do more stuff with our own program, and we want to give people options,” added Lewis.
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