Mass. districts show only small participation decrease tied to new regs

Fitchburg district reports four percent decline in participation.

April 8—While other areas are suffering school lunch revenue losses due to new federal nutrition guidelines put in place at the beginning of this school year, local Mass. districts seem to be reporting only small decreases in lunch participation rates.

Jill Lucius, nutrition-services director for Sodexo-managed Fitchburg schools cafeterias, said Friday the district is experiencing about a 4 percent decline in lunch participation from last year.

In October 2011, 82 percent of the district's students bought lunch, while in October 2012, 78 percent did, she said. In February 2012, there was 81 percent participation, while this past February saw 77 percent, Lucius said.