Local schools face challenge of stricter rules for school lunche - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Local schools face challenge of stricter rules for school lunches

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It's a challenge for most schools to follow stricter guidelines from the federal government to make your child's school lunch healthier. 

We all know it costs more money to eat healthy. That extra money is something many school systems just don't have.  

On Monday, one school administrator, who is just back from Washington, hopes her meeting with lawmakers will make a difference. 

"I go to the a la carte line," student, Nathaniel Hobbs said.

Nathaniel Hobbs, a student at Henderson County High School, likes to have options when it comes to what he chows down on at lunch.

"Mostly fries and chicken, and usually, pizza," Hobbs said.

There are even options if he decides to eat a little healthier.

"I can get a salad if I want it, and bags of chips and tea. Do you ever go for the salad? No," Hobbs told 14 News.

The federal government is hoping more students will start reach for that salad and other healthy items under new school nutrition guidelines.

"It's been very, very challenging for us," Sabrina Jewell said. 

Sabrina Jewell, the Nutrition Director at the Henderson County School System, has been overseeing the transition of making sure students have certain daily minimums and weekly maximums of grains, proteins, and fresh produce.  

But she also has been keeping an eye on her budget.

"We served twice has much produce as we did, and of course, produce prices have gone up," Jewell said.

That's one of the reasons Jewell joined a group of school administrators in Washington to tell Congress of their struggles.

"Anyone who eats healthy knows it costs more money than prepackaged processed food," Jewell said.

The EVSC also faces the same struggles, but says the students really are buying into the program.

"Because the kids see it every day, and the colors are so bright and colorful, they are picking up on these things and getting them," said Marsha Jackson with the EVSC.  

In Henderson County, school officials say if the government does not give them more time to make these changes, in a few years lunch prices would have to go up.  

So, they're hoping lawmakers will listen. 

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