Lebanon Reporter

January 27, 2013

USDA requirements challenge schools

By Sarah Lang
Staff writer

Lebanon — Jennifer Rice is not used to hearing complaints.

As the food service director for Lebanon Community School Corporation, Rice said she takes pride in what she does, and she wants students to eat the school lunches. She typically sees 85 percent participation in the school lunch programs.

But at the beginning of the school year in August, she got nervous. She saw a lot of packed lunches.

“I was walking down the hall and students were like, ‘Ah, Mrs. Rice, I’m starving!” Rice said. “I saw a lot of packed lunches in the beginning and thought, oh my goodness, we have to do something.”

Guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture really tightened up this year, Rice said. The food pyramid is gone and has been replaced by something called My Plate. My Plate is made up of five components — grains, protein, dairy, fruits and vegetables. Students buying school lunch must take at least three of the five components.

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