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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We Are Young and We Are Hungry-Students Protest New School Lunch Mandates

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If you haven't heard about the latest nutrition guidelines passed in 2011 by Congress, under Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" platform and signed into law under Obama as, Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, students,teachers and parents are already protesting the new guidelines.

While I have noticed the food menus sound appetizing offering at least three main course choices, along with fruits&vegetables, I haven't noticed the portion sizes and do not know if the program has been fully implemented in my sons school yet. But they do come home hungry and almost always want a second lunch rather than a snack after school. However, I have two very active boys and they likely burn more calories than most and have very high metabolisms. I never considered that they might not be getting enough food at school...but then never expect all kids to finish their meals either.
One school in Sharon Springs, Kansas, Wallace County High School, put together a humorous parody video protesting the new calorie restrictions under Michelle Obama's new school lunch program. While students may be getting more fruits and vegetables, the portion sizes are smaller and the cost of lunch has gone up.  
Despite the fact that the new regulations have increased the cost of a lunch 20 to 25 cents per plate, it’s not pleasing students. 
Some are throwing away their vegetables while others are adapting to the rules by becoming industrious. In New Bedford, Massachusetts, students have created a black market – for chocolate syrup. The kiddie capitalists are smuggling in bottles of it and selling it by the squeeze, according to SouthCoastToday.com.
New USDA school lunch guidelines, part of President Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, require doubling the servings of fruits and vegetables, with less sodium and fat and no meat for breakfast. The rules limit calories, so as First Lady Michelle Obama has said, school lunches don’t undo parents’ efforts to ensure their children eat healthy meals.
The Great Falls Tribune reports, the problem, however, is in the limit of protein — meats, cheese, sour cream, yogurt (but not milk) — and grains to 2 ounces each for young children and 3 ounces for high schoolers. The new rules set the minimum at only 1 oz. of protein per meal, said Salley Young, a Montana School Nutrition Association executive board member and food service manager at Greenfield Elementary School.
In rural communities, some students get on the bus at 7:15 a.m., have school all day and then participate in activities in the evening, pushing dinner time to 8 p.m. or later, meaning they need more food than the minimums set, she said.
Hopefully the calorie restrictions will be eliminated and students will have more freedom to choose how much they want to eat, despite the USDA&Federal Government trying to decide how many calories they need. Providing students with healthy alternatives is one thing, but mandating how much they can eat is another. If the Federal Government wants to start dictating what people can buy and eat, they should start with those on food stamps and limit/restrict what they can purchase.

According to the Blaze.com:
Those students created a parody of the popular hit “We Are Young” called “We Are Hungry.” It follows a group of high schoolers around school as they struggle to complete classwork, sports, and other tasks because they are too hungry to properly function due to the small and inadequate lunches. It was posted Sept. 17, has over 66,000 views, and has became a rallying cry of sorts.
The Kansas City Star says: 
The video shows students staring woefully at lunch trays, stuffing lockers with junk food, collapsing during volleyball practice and crawling on the ground in exhaustion.


“There’s just not enough” food, said 16-year-old Callahan Grund, a football player and star of the video. By Friday it had garnered 48,000 views – more than 62 times the population of Sharon Springs, a farming town not far from the Colorado border.
“When you have chores in the morning and football practice after school, you need energy. … This doesn’t cut it,” Grund said.
The major sticking point: a new federal rule that sets calorie maximums for school lunches — 650 calories for elementary-schoolers, 700 for middle-schoolers and 850 for high-schoolers.
Protesters in Kansas and elsewhere say 850 calories isn’t enough for some high-schoolers, particularly athletes who can burn calories by the thousands.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/09/24/3831309/school-lunch-calorie-limits-leave.html#storylink=cp
To show your support the video has launched a site on Facebook and offers the following contact information:

To help repeal the new guidelines, please visit https://www.facebook.com/NutritionNannies


To make your voice heard contact:
Undersecretary of Food & Nutrition Services
Kevin Concannon
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250
or 
Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250

Lyrics:
Give me some seconds
I, I need to get some food today 
My friends are at the corner store 
Getting junk so they don't waste away
My lover ate her 2 grams of meat 
Just about to starve
My bread was taken by some school bully 
Askin' bout s'more 
And i know i gave up on food months ago 
I know i'm trying to forget it 
But between the milk and feta cheese 
The pains in my tummy sing 
You know I'm trying hard to find
nourishment

So by the time you go to practice 
And you feel like falling down 
I'll carry you home

Tonight
We are hungry.
Set the policy on fire
It can burn brighter
Than the sun

Tonight 
We are hungry
Set the policy on fire 
It can burn brighter
Than the sun

Now i know that this is not
All that you got.
I guess that I,
I just thought maybe we could find a 
way not to starve today 
But our friends are back
They are filled right up 
Cause they found somewhere to find lots of food 

Tonight
We are hungry
Set the policy on fire 
It can burn brighter
Than the sun

Tonight
We are hungry
Set the policy on fire 
It can burn brighter
Than the sun

Crawling home tonight 
Just crawling home tonight 
Crawling home tonight 
Just crawling home tonight; 

The cooks are on my side
But I have no energy to run 
So will someone come and carry me home tonight
No nourishment arrived 
But i can taste mom's meal 
So will someone come and carry me home 

Tonight
We are hungry
Set the policy on fire 
It can burn brighter
Than the sun 

Tonight
We are hungry
Set the policy on fire 
It can burn brighter
Than the sun

So if by the time that it's all over 
And you feel like falling down
I'll carry you home tonight

mysignature-1.png©2008-2012 Patricia Garza

 
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