In 2010, Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed. It required schools to provide healthier foods, two fruits or a vegetable. I remember the first day they had this Act in effect, walking into the Cafeteria at Fairport High School in Fairport, New York. If you looked in the trash you saw trays with untouched veggies on top.
President Barak Obama signed the Act in effect as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative. It was designed to provide free lunches for the next five years for those who could not afford to pay for lunch. It also required students to be eating healthier. But could this be counterproductive?
The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act is not a good idea. Not only is the government now forcing students to pay for a more expensive lunch, they are also giving them less food. Serving sizes stays the same, Kindergartners received the same amount of food as Seniors. Every year, the price goes up due to food becoming more expensive. Costing nearly $3 for a daily lunch that often is not even enough to feed a middle school-high school student is ridiculous. Not only is it costly, but if you didn’t get your money in by the next day, you were handed a sandwich with a slice of cheese in between. That is all you got. How could schools do this to kids who obviously should not be relied on to bring that note home?
Most students just throw out the vegetables they are forced to have on their tray, costing schools more money to replace the food that just goes in the trash than just giving students more food as their entrée (instead of five small chicken nuggets maybe ten).
And then there’s the political issue of the Federal Government becoming involved with State and even Local governments. Public schools are run by a Local and State government, and the Federal government should not be involved in those affairs.
Schools should be required to have healthy choices available but not required to have on your tray in order to leave the register. There should be a poll to see what vegetables are liked and should then be put on the line. Plus, the Federal Government doesn’t have anything to do with local schools affairs. They don’t know the kids heights or calorie requirements or if even the majority of the students are obese.