Wyo. healthier school lunch sales pick back up

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Officials in southeast Wyoming say school lunch sales are picking up after a slight drop that followed new federal guidelines for healthier lunches last year.

Some schools in other states are opting out of the healthier school lunches, complaining that cafeterias were losing money because students weren’t buying the new items. But Kevin Concannon with the U.S. Department of Agriculture said no more than a couple hundred out of the 100,000 schools in the federal lunch program are doing so because of the new menu.

“There are some schools that come in and go out every year,” he said. “There are about 540 schools that dropped out of the program; less than half cited the new requirements.”

School officials in Laramie County said students and parents have had concerns about food quantity but approve of the quality and variety of food offered. They said lunch sales are picking up this year.

The new lunches will have more fruit, vegetables and whole grains and fewer calories, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1cPEZgU).

The Wyoming Department of Education got some calls from upset or curious parents last year, but the number this year has been far smaller, department nutrition program supervisor Tamra Jackson said.

“It’s change, and any time you have change, there will be people who are upset about it,” she said. “But, for the most part, in Wyoming we’re finding that people are looking upon it as a positive.”

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Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com

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