The new standards led to kids throwing out their fruits and vegetables, student boycotts, higher lunch costs, and odd food pairings such as “cheese stick with shrimp” in order for schools to comply with the complicated rules.
The National School Lunch Program saw a sharp decline in participation once the healthy standards went into effect during the 2012-2013 school year. A total of 1,086,000 students stopped buying school lunch, after participation had increased steadily for nearly a decade.
The report found that 321 districts left the National School Lunch Program altogether, many of which cited the new standards as a factor.
The decline was “influenced by changes made to comply with the new lunch content and nutrition standards,” state and local officials said.
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