N.Y. district says "no thanks" to NSLP

Participation and waste after meal regulations changes cited as culprits.

Jan. 24—New federal lunch guidelines will no longer rule cafeterias at the Niskayuna (N.Y.) Central School District. Officials are looking to make the lunch program self-sustaining again after finding students have been throwing away more food, or not getting in line at all.

The Niskayuna Board of Education unanimously approved terminating the district’s participation in the National School Lunch Program effective April 1. The district’s lunch program is at a net operating loss of almost $70,500 from the start of this school year through December. At elementary schools, where lunch program participation is higher, only around 20 to 25 percent of students are purchasing lunch compared to 40 to 50 percent last year, according the district.

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Ideas and Innovation
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Ideas and Innovation
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We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
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Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

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