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Unwrapped: Mixed reactions to new lunch

on October 17, 2012

On July 1, new U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations kicked in changing what kids eat nationwide. The federal regulations, spearheaded by first lady Michelle Obama as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, limit the average weekly maximum number of calories in a lunch meal to 850 in high school, 700 in middle school, and 650 in elementary school. Additionally, schools must offer more fruits and vegetables, and at least half of foods served must be “whole grain rich,” defined as 50 percent whole grain by the USDA.  And the program aims to drastically cut back sodium levels over the next ten years.

29,500 children in the West Contra Costa Unified School District are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program, and the district serves around 29,000 meals a day including breakfast, lunch, and supper.

But not everyone has welcomed the changes with open arms. Roll over the dots on the lunch tray, read our feature article, and click on the media players on the left to see what Richmond students and administrators are saying about the revised meals.



  1. Alicia on October 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I think that these changes to the school lunch program are very well intentioned and in many cases very much needed–especially in addressing the overall nutritional value of the meals and encouraging healthy eating. Though I wonder if giving more attention to food sourcing, preparation, and quality of ingredients would make all the difference…in my experience, anyone would be more enthusiastic about eating fresh fruits and vegetables if they looked and tasted great.

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