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New requirements for at-school lunches

Updated: Friday, August 30 2013, 07:21 AM CDT
Reported by: Brandie Meng
Posted by: Sara Small (SGSmall@sbgtv.com)



It's not the lunch that we bought at school as kids.

Today's school lunch is monitored a whole lot more.

Lee Ann Hocker is the Director of Food Services for Susquehanna Township School District.

She says the school lunch students buy today is very different than the school lunch mom and dad probably bought when they were in school.

"No french fries. There's a whole lot more fresh fruits fresh veggies. And The Department of Education oversees the school lunch program here in Pennsylvania. They feed the USDA guidelines."

Guidelines that have specific requirements for each grade level: calories, portions and nutritional values vary for elementary school to middle school to high school.

Each district in Pennsylvania is required to follow the United States Department of Agriculture Recommendations if the district wants to participate in incentive programs like free and reduced lunch programs.

The cost of a school lunch can vary from district to district but generally elementary students pay around $2.00 and high school students pay about $3.00.

Hocker says school districts try their best to keep the cost of the daily meal down.

"We are part of a bid group of about 30 school districts across Central Pennsylvania. Every year, we put out a large food bid."


"We also receive government commodities and those commodities are awarded in dollar values. That dollar value for Susquehanna is about $87,000."

Dollars that can be used to purchase exact items needed to meet the daily nutritional requirements.

It's not the school lunches many grew up eating.

Today's lunch program is carefully planned, "We are monitoring everything. You don't have to worry if your child is getting fruits and veggies today. Did he have enough protein? Or something he liked? I think it is one of the best programs out there."

New requirements for at-school lunches


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