GREEN LAKE, Wis. – Another one bites the dust – and students will be biting more food.
The Green Lake, Wisconsin school district has had all it can take from the federal school lunch rules championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.
The school board recently dropped out of the National School Lunch Program and is reporting with the change, about 50 percent of students are buying school-made meals and the garbage cans are emptier.
“The parents were tired of their kids coming home hungry, that was the main thing,” Green Lake food service director Deb Smith tells ABC 2.
“On our end, we were tired of seeing the waste.”
Smith says the school district isn’t reverting back to fatty or truly unhealthy meals, but now has the flexibility to provide healthy foods with flavor.
“It’s amazing what a little bit of salt, a little bit of pepper, maybe a little bit of butter, will do. The kids will eat the vegetables. It’s like magic,” according to Smith.
“When we had game days I never had enough to eat with the school lunch, so I always had to pack my own lunch,” Nathan Karlovich, a strapping athlete says.
Students have more flexibility with what they’re able to select each day.
“We’re doing it on a trial basis until the end of the school year to see how things go,” according to superintendent Ken Bates.
Some 574 other school districts across the country have also opted out of the program since the rules, with have become synonymous with Michelle Obama, were implemented a couple years ago.
Instead of opting out, other schools are trying to lure schools into buying the “healthier” meals, literally trying to sweeten the deal with ice cream.
“As the result of the reduction in student lunches, it is somewhat difficult at times to make ends meet. Other diocesan schools are finding themselves in the same situation. It has been suggested to the schools that we add ice cream to make up the difference,” Saint Joseph School Principal Cathy Stover writes in a letter to parents.
The Crescent Springs, Kentucky school hopes that will be enough to blunt the decline in sales.
Nearby Fort Thomas schools dropped out the the program and at least for now, aren’t looking back.
“The tables are full and the kids are eating. They’re happy,” food service director Gina Sawma tells Fox 19.