New York School to Opt Out of First Lady’s Lunches

• June 3, 2015 2:29 pm


A New York School District announced Monday that one of its schools would opt out of the National School Lunch Program starting June 30 to combat the costs of food waste caused by First Lady Michelle Obama’s National School Lunch Program.

Greater Johnstown School District superintendent Robert DeLilli told the Leader Herald that the federal lunch program spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama exacerbated the district’s budget deficit. The Jansen Avenue School is now turning to a local solution to find a less costly food system.

"It’s kind of like a pilot to see how it works," DeLilli said. "We’ll wait and see how it goes."

Since the introduction of the National School Lunch Program in 2012, 1.2 million students have dropped out of the National School Lunch Program. Those who remain continue to throw away food, resulting in $1 billion in food waste.

Greater Johnston Board of Education is just the latest district to re-evaluate the federal lunch program.

In May, Denver school administrators got a taste of what their students were eating under the nutritional guidelines.

School board member Rosemary Rodriguez and health justice organizer Monica Acosta sampled a typical lunch meal at Kepner Middle School on May 12 after a student filed a complaint to

Their meals included a cold chicken patty on a rock hard burnt bun, frozen strawberries, and an unripe pear.

"It’s heartbreaking,"Acosta said. "That’s the type of food Kepner students have been having all year long."

Since the taste test, Kenper cafeteria workers have made changes, including thawing the fruit and serving fresh, not expired, milk to the students.

Published under: Michelle Obama