Michigan school districts drop federal lunch program

Waterford Graded and Waterford High School districts have made the decision to forego the funding and serve what they want.

WATERFORD, Mich.—New federal requirements that foods sold in schools be healthier have some area school districts opting out of the federal lunch program that provides subsidies for serving free or reduced-price meals to low-income students.

Opting out means the districts do not have to follow food healthiness requirements. But it also means the districts lose federal money that covers the cost of free and reduced-price meals for poorer students.

The Waterford Graded and Waterford High School districts have weighed their options and decided they’d rather forego the money and serve what they want. They’ll continue to cover the costs of low-income students’ meals — likely by spending less on fruits and vegetables that students simply throw away, and by serving slightly less healthy but overall tastier meals to increase lunch participation among paying students, officials from those districts said.

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