Students strike against new federal school lunch rules

Posted in the Jacksonville Forum

“Just Add Obama ”

Since: Mar 08

Jacksonville Florida

#1 Dec 10, 2012
http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/studen...

Mukwonago - By 7 a.m. Monday, senior Nick Blohm already had burned about 250 calories in the Mukwonago High School weight room.

He grabbed a bagel and a Gatorade afterward; if he eats before lifting, he gets sick.
That was followed by eight periods in the classroom, and then three hours of football practice. By the time he headed home, he had burned upward of 3,000 calories - his coach thinks the number is even higher.

But the calorie cap for his school lunch? 850 calories.
"A lot of us are starting to get hungry even before the practice begins," Blohm said. "Our metabolisms are all sped up."

Following new federal guidelines, school districts nationwide have retooled their menus to meet new requirements to serve more whole grains, only low-fat or nonfat milk, daily helpings of both fruits and vegetables, and fewer sugary and salty items. And for the first time, federal funds for school lunches mandate age-aligned calorie maximums. The adjustments are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 touted by Michelle Obama and use the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The changes are hard to swallow for students like Blohm. On Monday, 70% of the 830 Mukwonago High students who normally buy lunch boycotted cafeteria food to protest what they see as an unfair "one size fits all thing." Middle schoolers in the district also boycotted their school lunches, with counts down nearly half Monday. They're not alone in their frustration; schools across the country are reporting students who are unhappy with the lunch offerings.

The sub sandwich line at Mukwonago High used to let students pile veggies on a six-inch French bread bun. Options now include a fist-sized whole wheat roll or multigrain wrap, and the once popular line is now mostly empty.

The healthier food is less the issue than the portions.
"A freshman girl who weighs 100 pounds can eat this lunch and feel completely full, maybe even a little bloated," said Joey Bougneit, a Mukwonago senior.
But Blohm is a 6-foot-3-inch, 210-pound linebacker. He's also class president, and takes several Advanced Placement classes. If schools want students to perform well, he said, they can't be sitting in their chairs hungry.

Last year's fare featured favorites like chicken nuggets and mini corn dogs in helpings that were "relatively decent," Bougneit said. But health-conscious regulations have changed that. Last week's super nacho plate, for example, offered just eight tortilla chips.

Adding to the dissatisfaction is a 10-cent price hike on lunches because the USDA, which oversees the National School Lunch Program, forced many districts to raise full-price lunches closer to the $2.86 it reimburses for students who qualify for free lunches. That means the leaner, greener lunches at Mukwonago High this year now cost $2.50 instead of $2.40.

"Now it's worse tasting, smaller sized and higher priced," Bougneit said.

Officials share concerns
Pam Harris, the district food service supervisor and a registered dietitian, said children's weight and poor nutrition in America are serious problems, but the changes are too abrupt.
"I could not be more passionate about this," Harris said. "I want to solve this problem. But limiting calories in school lunch is not going to help the overweight kid. What happens at home is a major piece of that puzzle."

“Just Add Obama ”

Since: Mar 08

Jacksonville Florida

#2 Dec 10, 2012
Cont……..
"Our issue is pretty much kids just don't want to eat vegetables," she said. "The USDA wants to solve the problem of childhood obesity. Those are two kind of separate issues."
Harris spoke at all lunch periods Friday to explain the federal dietary changes and had students fill out comment cards explaining what they do and don't like about the new menu. She plans to send those and parent letters to the USDA in hopes the department will allow districts including Mukwonago to gradually introduce their menu over a few years.

In a clothing store bag the size of a backpack, Blohm lugged his homemade, linebacker-size lunch including a bag of raw carrots, two ham sandwiches on wheat bread, two granola bars, an apple and three applesauce cups - an estimated total of 1,347 calories.

How long will the students keep boycotting the lunch program?
"I've already told my mom we might be packing my lunch for the rest of the year," Blohm said.
Clay Iverson, Mukwonago's varsity football head coach, said student-athletes are bigger, stronger and more athletic than ever before, and their food intake needs have evolved.

"Everything has been accelerated, and maybe nutrition hasn't been," he said.
He worries that if players' stomachs are growling by the end of the school day, they'll go home and binge on anything they get their hands on and undo any of the benefits of the lighter, healthier school lunch.

Teens need a push to make healthy eating choices, Iverson said, but they've got plenty else to worry about during the football season.
"I wonder if the people who made the decision had to go through a day like Nick Blohm."

“Just Add Obama ”

Since: Mar 08

Jacksonville Florida

#3 Dec 10, 2012
WTH, The last time I checked it was not against the law to bring your own lunch to school, will at least not yet. "I've already told my mom we might be packing my lunch for the rest of the year," Blohm said.” WOW does Nick Blohm actually understand that this is called personally responsibility. I mean seriously if you don’t like the milk from the government tit get off the government tit!
Toaster

Pomona Park, FL

#4 Dec 10, 2012
Mr Logic in Jax wrote:
WTH, The last time I checked it was not against the law to bring your own lunch to school, will at least not yet. "I've already told my mom we might be packing my lunch for the rest of the year," Blohm said.” WOW does Nick Blohm actually understand that this is called personally responsibility. I mean seriously if you don’t like the milk from the government tit get off the government tit!
A high percent of the kids get free lunches ,plus the family lives on food stamps. If the free lunches aren't enough ,bring a sandwich from home to make up the difference. When I was a kid most of us brought our lunches ,because we couldn't afford to buy lunch at school.

“Just Add Obama ”

Since: Mar 08

Jacksonville Florida

#5 Dec 10, 2012
Toaster wrote:
<quoted text>
A high percent of the kids get free lunches ,plus the family lives on food stamps. If the free lunches aren't enough ,bring a sandwich from home to make up the difference. When I was a kid most of us brought our lunches ,because we couldn't afford to buy lunch at school.
WTH is going on, people are bitching about what they are given for free. It would be like a thief stealing your TV and bitching that it was only a 42” 780 and not a 60” 1080 hd. Good grief we are so screwed because these people vote….
Toaster

Pomona Park, FL

#6 Dec 11, 2012
Mr Logic in Jax wrote:
<quoted text>
WTH is going on, people are bitching about what they are given for free. It would be like a thief stealing your TV and bitching that it was only a 42” 780 and not a 60” 1080 hd. Good grief we are so screwed because these people vote….
It's obvious that most voters in this country are losers or have no idea what they're voting for, they just vote. If people are not paying taxes (unless they are on social security) they have no business voting, because they contribute nothing to society.

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