Millions wasted nationwide with discarded school lunch food - KCTV5

Millions wasted nationwide with discarded school lunch food

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Researchers say $3.8 million is being thrown away in school lunch rooms nationwide, and most of that is in the form of fruits and vegetables.  All that produce is required to go on lunch trays because of new federal school lunch guidelines. Researchers say $3.8 million is being thrown away in school lunch rooms nationwide, and most of that is in the form of fruits and vegetables. All that produce is required to go on lunch trays because of new federal school lunch guidelines.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Researchers say $3.8 million is being thrown away in school lunch rooms nationwide, and most of that is in the form of fruits and vegetables.

All that produce is required to go on lunch trays because of new federal school lunch guidelines.

More guidelines went into effect to add whole grains and reduce sodium. But researchers say the millions of dollars in food is being thrown out now because children don't like the healthy stuff.

While some schools nationwide have reported a nearly 100 percent increase in waste, Kansas City Public Schools is only seeing a 10 percent increase since the government started dictating what schools can serve.

Most of the waste are fruits and veggies that students have to take, even if they don't want it. And, while kids across the country have stopped eating school hot lunch, more and more kids are opting for it at KCPS.

"We've seen an increase with our participation with our free and reduced percentages. I would say 5-7 percent has increased because the need is there with the economy," said Ellen Cram, director of child nutrition services.

District officials say that is because when it comes to getting a meal, the majority of their students are take what they can get.

"This might be all the food that the student has during the day. So we're trying to meet that need. And the kids often times come to school so that they will have something to eat. We want it to be appetizing and enjoyable as well," Cram said.

About 89 percent of the students in the district are eligible for free or reduced lunch. The district not only provides them breakfast and lunch, but in some cases, supper.

To find out exactly what the School Nutrition Association is asking of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, click here

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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