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ONE MORE (BLUE STATE) SCHOOL DISTRICT opts out of the FEDERAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM: WHAT would it TAKE for HANOVER COUNTY to do it?

Here is a report on another blue state (Onondaga) school district (actually a high school in that district) that will opt out of the Federal School Lunch Program due to the meddling instigated by the First Lady:

Starting this coming school year, C.W. Baker High School in the Baldwinsville school district will no longer participate in the National School Lunch Program. The board of eduction (sic; the board did not write this article the newspaper did!) voted to notify the State Education Department that it was dropping out.

Baldwinsville joins a handful of schools in New York state and others across the nation who are opting out of the program that was signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1946. In Central New York, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District and Manlius Pebble Hill School have already opted out. (Exact state and national numbers of the school opting out are not available.)

And why?  The article quotes school officials:

Wright said the guidelines were too restricting and the students who were buying the food complained they were not getting large enough portions and that the food didn’t taste good. Some students threw some or all of their food away.

“It is not uncommon to see a student come out of line and go right to the trash can and throw parts of his lunch away before he even sits down,” Wright said.

The school district was losing money and the kids were not eating the food!

Baldwinsville saw school lunches bought drop from 625 a day in 2009-10 to 400 this school year as the district changed its menu to meet the federal requirements, said Baldwinsville Food Service Director Brian Wright. The school has 1,350 students.

That cost the food services department, which is not subsidized by the district, about $20,000 a year.

OOPS! And the USDA is now the soup Nazi!

“We couldn’t serve soup before,” he said. “Now we can bring that back.”

Wright said, for example, a popular lunch before the new guidelines took effect was a ham and cheese sandwich on a pretzel roll with tomato soup. Under the new guidelines the pretzel roll was replaced with a whole grain roll and the soup was eliminated and replaced with an orange or red vegetable.

“You had one of the student’s favorite meals and now they aren’t buying it,” he said.

It’s frightening for a Hanover resident to even consider:  No TOMATO soup!  So I decided to examine the Hanover County School Budget and see what it might take for our school district to opt out of the school lunch program.  Here’s the numbers based on the 2012-13 HCPS budget (I got this from the Friends of Hanover Schools but I do not expect them to endorse this post!) for school lunch (indented for emphasis not a quote):

The revenue for school lunches and breakfasts is $5,482,800 (Elementary brings in $1,715,600, Middle brings in $1, 253,700 and high schools $2,480,500 by the way) and the expenditures are $7,205,000.

The federal subsidy is $1,556,261 which is $210,136 in donated USDA food, $267,146 for Section 4 money, $260,014 for breakfast and the supplement is $818,965.

Now what I do not know is:   How much did the school district lose in fewer lunches bought last year (2013-14).  But I would think that there would be some recoupment from more food being bought.  I am sure if the School Board were motivated they could find a savings somewhere!

Hanover, let’s start something.  Time to tell Michelle Obama:  Not in our school system!  Let’s opt out of the Federal School Lunch Program.  I hereby add it to my platform if I were ever to apply to the school board from Henry district.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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    1. […] for this coming school year.  Heroic school districts have opted-out like the ones discussed at this blog and in this Business Week […]


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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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