Bethlehem opts out of national lunch program

ALBANY, N.Y. – Bethlehem
Central High School is one of a handful of schools in the Capital Region that
are opting out of the National Lunch Program known as, a new lunch standard that schools across the country are following.

The program was dropped after Bethlehem
officials say there was a dramatic decrease in lunch sales last school
year, losing the school $70,000. A spokesperson for the school district says the main complaint from parents was about portion sizes being too small.

school district says the Food Service staff will be looking into healthy menu
options for the upcoming school year that will be cost-effective and

school will be losing over $40,000 in funding per year by not
participating in the federal program. But officials say they are confident
more students will be buying school lunches that will make up for that loss.

A group of parents who are a part of the
Bethlehem Healthy Kids Committee are not happy with the decision. They say the district did not give the federal program a chance and should have
looked at different strategies to have the students interested. Parents
say they want to be involved in the process and hope a new nutrition guideline can be

Bethlehem will be holding a school board meeting in August to discuss ideas.

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Board of Education has
also voted to leave the National School Lunch Program starting in September due to
“hungry, frustrated children plus lost income.”

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