Kentucky district opts out of federal school meal program

Fort Thomas Independent School District leaves the program over new regulations that it says are causing increased waste.

FORT THOMAS, Ky.—The Fort Thomas Independent School District is opting out of the criteria set forth in the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Just for participating in the program, schools receive more than $200,000 a year. But in Fort Thomas, after seeing how it's gone over the last few years, the district feels it's worth the sacrifice to move forward on their own.

"We're not going to force kids to take things they don't want," said Superintendent Gene Kirchner.

More than 90% of our nation's schools are on board with the national school lunch program. The program dictates lower calories and more whole grain and vegetable options in the cafeteria.

"Right now our program is headed in the wrong direction, and we feel like we've lost control," said Kirchner.

Superintendent Kirchner says as a district, they're down about 166 meals per day since 2010, and even those participating are wasteful.

"We're watching kids after they go past the cash register, throw away what they were forced to take in the lunch line, and that's just sad," said Kirchner.

"It wasn't the best food, I mean it could be better," said Emily Uchtmann.

Even the students say the food isn't exactly tasty and often times the portions are too small. These soon to be freshman say they're thrilled about having more freedom during lunch.

"I'm excited because that means I don't have to go off campus for lunch as much," said student Emily Uchtmann.

Is it worth missing out on all this extra lunch money?

Kirchner acknowledges it is a concern because annually they'll have to make up around  $260,000 to $270,000 a year. 

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
WinCup foam food containers

From WinCup.

Cost control.

Two little words that are essential to every foodservice director’s day-to-day activities.

Keeping costs in check is paramount in running a functioning food operation, of course. But the ripples of cost control can extend beyond your bottom line. And savvy directors must balance customer satisfaction on the P&L sheet.

Fiscal Responsibility

The foundation of cost control is accepting fiscal responsibility, which requires a solid understanding of foodservice accounting. Prime cost, the combined cost of food and labor, is an...

Industry News & Opinion

Orange County Community College in upstate New York is replacing its dining staff with vending machines , The Times Herald-Record reports.

The staff members, who will be let go in June, include nine full-time and three part-time workers. Students say they will miss the employees and the access to fresh food.

The Orange County Community College Association, which oversees the school’s cafeterias, says the layoffs were partly due to a $150,000 deficit accumulated by foodservice operations last year.

Read the full story via The Times Herald-Record .

Industry News & Opinion

Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, is eliminating paper cups in its Commons dining hall and has given each student a reusable stainless steel mug as a replacement, bates.edu reports.

The mugs were distributed via a promotion earlier this week where students could fill their new mugs with a free smoothie. Stickers and other trinkets were set out for students to use to “bling” their mugs.

Dining services turned to students to determine which type of mug would be offered. The college also installed a mug-washing sink in the dining Commons earlier this year.

Read the...

Industry News & Opinion

Compass has partnered with Jose Andres ’ ThinkFoodGroup, allowing the chef and foodservice vendor to collaborate at such venues as stadiums and college campuses.

“With this partnership, we have the opportunity to tell stories and connect with people through food on an entirely new level,” Andres said in a release.

The three-year team-up comes shortly after Andres opened a ThinkFoodLab pop-up in Washington, D.C., which will serve as a recipe R&D space for his restaurant group.

ThinkFoodGroup was this year named a Power 20 multiconcept operator by Restaurant...

FSD Resources