School Drops Michelle Obama’s Federal Lunch Program, Cafeteria Traffic Skyrockets

Hannah Bleau

Officials at Montana’s Bozeman High School recently made the controversial decision to opt out of Michelle Obama’s infamous federal school lunch program.

It wasn’t any small decision. Dropping the program meant kissing $117,000 federal dollars goodbye. School board members decided there was enough of counting calories, salt and fat. Obviously, students were over it. During the span of the federal lunch program, many students left the campus to buy fast food.

Now that they’ve deviated from the program, they’ve seen a huge increase in traffic. In fact, they’re seeing over 1000 additional customers on a regular basis.

“Our traffic is way up — over 1,000 (customers a day) regularly,” said Bob Burrows, the man in charge of Bozeman’s school lunches.

That wasn’t happening last year.

“Extra food” sales, which happen mainly at the high school, exceeded $54,000 for the entire school district in September — a jump of 48 percent from nearly $37,000 last year and $48,000 two years ago. Extra food sales are anything less than what the federal government considers a complete meal, from a healthy sandwich to sugary cookies.

For all 11 Bozeman schools, the lunch program has counted $73,221 in deposits so far this school year, up $1,441 from the same time last year.

And get this– in some respects, the food is now more nutritious. Some Bozeman schools are making around 55 percent of their foods from scratch and using local ingredients.

The school district has imposed its own nutrition goals for Bozeman High lunches, based on the previous year’s federal guidelines for healthy foods. The goals are: 825 calories minimum; 30 percent of calories from fat; less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat; 1,500mg of sodium; 2 ounces of meat; 8 ounces of milk; a minimum half-cup of fruit; 1 ounce of grain minimum, and 50 percent of items served must be “whole-grain rich.” If Bozeman High had stayed with the federal program, lunches would have been limited to between 750 and 850 calories.

Not gonna lie, their menu looks kinda good. Pumpkin spice pancakes? Count me IN!

I’m sure they’ll miss these nanny state lunches though.

h/t Bozeman Daily Chronical

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