East Texas schools aren't opting out of federal meals program

Pine Tree ISD is sticking with the program due to it's high percentage of student participants in the free and reduced meal program.

LONGVIEW, Texas—Area school officials say economic concerns — and changing taste buds of students — are reasons they have no plans to opt out of federal healthier meal standards.

A recent Republican plan in Congress would allow some school districts to bypass the federal guidelines. It was proposed after schools complained of restrictive and costly meal plans under the standards implemented two years ago.

Also spurring the debate is a recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health that said 60 percent of vegetables and 40 percent of fruit on school lunch trays are being thrown in the trash, though the study emphasized it’s not an increase since students have always discarded that high of a percentage of fruits and vegetables.