BUFFALO, N.Y.- At the beginning of the school year, students began seeing some changes to their school lunches. New USDA guidelines went into effect that limited the amount of protein, grains, sodium and calories.
In November, 2 On Your Side visited cafeterias in the Niagara Falls and Ken-Ton School Districts and found that many students were not happy with the new offerings which included things like spinach and cooked squash. Cafeteria garbage cans were full of food.
The reaction was similar in other parts of the country. The USDA has now modified the guidelines allowing districts to offer more meats and grains.
"Our kids said they were hungry" says Ken-Ton School Lunch Manager Kim Roll. She has high hopes that the changes will compliment the changes they have made to their menus and have more students both buying and eating school lunch.
Roll says they looked at what types of fruits and vegetables were being thrown away and which ones were not to plan their future menus. Roll says the response from students has been positive and the waste has been reduced.
Federal officials are taking the same approach, modifications to make the program as successful as it can be. Earlier this fall the USDA asked for feedback from providers, feedback that they have now put into motion in the form of program modifications.