School districts in Monroe County are finding it challenging to follow guidelines under the federal school lunch program that was put into place last year. The program requires school districts to serve more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, use ten percent less salt, and offer students only one percent or non-fat milk.
Jody Siegel, President of the Monroe County School Boards Association, says some students are still hungry after eating the lunches, and others find them unappetizing. She says local school districts are working with their food vendors to ensure the correct proportions and nutritional value of the meals served.
The Voorheesville School District in the Albany area recently became the first in the state to opt out of the federal school lunch program. Siegel says she is not aware of any Monroe County schools doing the same. She says it would be easier for a well-funded district to walk away from the program, as opposed to districts that rely on more funded meals.