Brown bag movement causes headaches

Staff feeling effects of reduced participation.

Sept. 10—Hundreds of students at Plum Borough School District, in Pittsburgh, are packing their lunches instead of buying them, part of a groundswell protest against the new federal school meal regulations. It's been a little over a week since the "Brown Bagging" movement began, and it already has impacted the food service departments financially.

Students initially said they weren't pleased with the increased cost of lunches, the smaller portions and the quality of the food. Their movement has been in the national spotlight for the last week—students in Minnesota followed Plum's example.

Food service Director Maryann Lazzaro said that the department has been severely impacted by the lunch-packing movement. Last Monday and Tuesday, Lazzaro said the department served around 900 lunches each day at the high school. That number dropped to 200 by Friday.