We were inundated with letters responding to Eric Stoessel’s editorial last month asking school foodservice directors for their opinions on the increasingly public and political debate between the USDA and SNA on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. He wondered what the people in the trenches really thought about the tougher requirements coming this year.
I believe everyone feels it’s in the best interest for children to be healthy, but there is more to health than just nutrition. In my district, students are throwing away food and making very nutritious garbage cans. We are encouraging students with salad bars lined with fruits and vegetables and have incorporated the required regulations. I have recommended that my district go off the National School Lunch & Breakfast program for our two high schools. We are a district that has a low population of free and reduced students, receive little to no grant money and nutrition services must be financially self-supported. Our district has an open campus policy that allows students to leave campus and solicit approximately 30-plus food locations and free food is offered weekly at the YMCA gym across from one of the high schools. Please explain to me how these regulations will make students want to remain in school and become healthier?
Wouldn’t the money be better spent on education requiring nutrition, food purchasing and food preparation as required as part of their curriculum? The students might understand the importance of healthier food choices when consuming their meals.
Back off the nutrition regulations and spend the money on other factors that will help make a healthier population. This includes conflict resolutions, anger management, bullying, self-esteem, discrimination, physical education and health awareness.
Katie DuBois, R.D.
Lewis Palmer School District
El Paso County, CO