Under the new USDA guidelines, schools must charge a price that matches what the district receives per tray for free or reduced lunches.
Now students are getting less food on their trays due to the 850 calorie requirement. School officials say the students immediately noticed smaller sandwiches at the deli bar, but it was the garlic bread that caused uproar.
According to one school official the portion of garlic bread was cut in half, or a little less than half, and that was such popular item that it was really noticeable it pushed students over the edge.
Athletes in the district are particularly annoyed by the new regulations as they’ve grown accustomed to large lunches.
Pam Harris, the food service supervisor says the school normally serves about 800 lunches per day. When the school lunch boycott began Monday, Sept. 17, the lunch ladies served 290 lunches.
Harris said if the boycott continues, it could lead to cuts in cafeteria staff.
“This year, we were forced to raise our price 10 cents,” Harris said. “They’re getting less food and they’re paying more money, and they just decided they needed to make their voices heard.”
“We’ve always encouraged our athletes that do eat hot lunch to bring extra,” Clay Iverson, Football Coach, said. “I do think hot lunch is geared toward the student who’s not in a very rigorous activity.”
“Limiting the calories of the athlete is not going to make the overweight child lose weight, so I feel it’s a pretty ineffective way to address the problem,” Harris said.