Chicago district cutting foodservice budget after rejecting federal money

D214, which dropped out of the National School Lunch Program, will see a reduction in its nutrition budget of $450,000.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — A suburban school district is cutting its food service budget after giving up nearly $1 million in aid by quitting the federal school lunch program.

The Arlington Heights-based Township High School District 214 approved its budget for the 2014-15 school year at a board meeting last week. The overall budget is larger than last year's, with an ending fund balance of more than $161 million, a 10 percent increase over last year's budget projections.

The food service budget, however, is smaller than last year's by about $450,000, notably due to a loss in government aid that the district said it will cover both by cutting costs and making more money in food sales.

District 214's food program has been in the spotlight since the second largest high school district in the state chose to opt out of the National School Lunch Program in May.

The school system cited the Smart Snacks in School guidelines that went into effect July 1 as the last straw, as it marked the first time food outside of the proper school lunch and breakfast meals would be dictated by federal nutritional standards.

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