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Bethlehem drops federal lunch program

Lack of interest at high school prompts menu change, parents object

Bethlehem Central School District recently decided to opt out of the federal lunch program at the high school out of concerns that the stringent guidelines did not provide students with enough options.

Bethlehem Central School District recently decided to opt out of the federal lunch program at the high school out of concerns that the stringent guidelines did not provide students with enough options.

— “We gave it a full year to try and make it fully successful,” she said. “They were feeling hungry at the end of their lunch period.”

Kehoe said the majority of students and parents wanted more to be offered at the lunch program.

“We will have some pizza available, but we try to make sure there is a variety of options with that as well,” she said.

One of the problems with the program was the larger portions of fruits and vegetables required to be offered with every meal was more expensive, officials said. Students were forced to take a certain amount even if they are only going to throw out the food, too.

Douglas said the district has to weigh the concerns and opinions of everyone in the district to reach the best solution.

“We value all of our constituents … to the fact that the district has to represent all constituents and throughout this that is a balancing job,” Douglas said.

Douglas said food services will continue to follow “certain nutritional guidelines” and the district is reviewing ways to make those guidelines easily available to the public.

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