Bethlehem opts out of national lunch program - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Bethlehem opts out of national lunch program

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ALBANY, N.Y. - Bethlehem Central High School is one of a handful of schools in the Capital Region that are opting out of the National Lunch Program known as MyPlate.gov, a new lunch standard that schools across the country are following.

The program was dropped after Bethlehem officials say there was a dramatic decrease in lunch sales last school year, losing the school $70,000. A spokesperson for the school district says the main complaint from parents was about portion sizes being too small.

The school district says the Food Service staff will be looking into healthy menu options for the upcoming school year that will be cost-effective and nutritional.

The school will be losing over $40,000 in funding per year by not participating in the federal program. But officials say they are confident more students will be buying school lunches that will make up for that loss.

A group of parents who are a part of the Bethlehem Healthy Kids Committee are not happy with the decision. They say the district did not give the federal program a chance and should have looked at different strategies to have the students interested. Parents say they want to be involved in the process and hope a new nutrition guideline can be followed.

Bethlehem will be holding a school board meeting in August to discuss ideas.

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Board of Education has also voted to leave the National School Lunch Program starting in September due to "hungry, frustrated children plus lost income."

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