Idaho schools keep healthy lunch program

POSTED: 06:28 PM MDT Sep 04, 2013 
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

It's been a little over a year since the federal government launched its healthier lunch program. Schools nationwide have been complaining that students don't like it, leaving them with a hefty financial burden.

The school lunches are now filled with less fat and more whole grains. Because of these big changes, school officials are saying students nationwide are complaining.

But in Idaho falls, the Rocky Mountain Middle School principal, Jason Lords, said he is getting a different response from his students.

"The only complaint that I seem to get is from the eight graders saying it's just not enough [food]," he said.

The lack of objection could be due to the fact that more than 50 percent of the students at Rocky Mountain Middle School are on free or reduced-price lunch.

"If you went into the cafeteria and took a scan of what they were eating, majority of it would be school lunch," said Lords.

Lunch coordinator Heather Plain had a different theory as to why the school is still filling lunch trays. She said the students are required to take a serving of either fruit or vegetables. But school officials have little control over whether the students actually eat them.

"A lot of the students do throw half of their food away. It just goes in the trash," said Plain.

In this troubling economy, taking that kind of loss can be devastating to any school district.

"Fruits and vegetables, they're a lot more expensive, as you know," said Plain.

Although food may be going into the garbage, Idaho school officials say they are not opting out of the program.