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Some kids like returning to school in Fall more than others, but all the kids in Catlin, Illinois, are going to be happy this year when they go back. Their school district has decided to opt out of the Michelle Obama-controlled National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Although the program’s purpose was to have kids eat healthier food, what actually happened is that many kids refused to eat the food they ended up getting, while others, even if they did eat it, weren’t getting enough to satisfy the caloric requirements of active, growing children.
Superintendent Gary Lewis told the local newspaper the thinking that led to the district’s decision. “We’re going to have the freedom to do more stuff with our own program, and we want to give people options.”
There were good practical reasons for the change. Instead, of getting more children to eat healthy food, the NSLP’s impact on the school district was to see more food end up in the garbage. Lewis explained that, “When the federal government changed the nutrition guidelines, they became very restrictive. “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.
(Read More: Federal Politicians BAN ‘Junk Food’ In Schools.)
“We had to not only offer vegetables but vegetables of a certain color, and we had to offer them so many times a week. I will eat kale. But if I tried to get my 11- and 7-year-old to eat kale, they will look at me like, ‘What are you putting on my plate?’”
Not only were the children unhappy, so were the parents. They seem willing to pay the “slightly” increased meal prices that will result from opting out of Michelle’s program.