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Kentucky Schools Adjust To Federal Food Guidelines

Yale Rudd Center

School nutritionists from across the Commonwealth are trying to get more students to eat healthier meals during the instructional day.  About 700 school cooks, managers, and administrators are meeting for a statewide conference this week in Lexington. 

Kentucky School Nutrition Association President Sabrina Jewell says 17 thousand fewer meals are being served at schools across the state.

"Because our program is federally funded, we're based off of participation.  So, if they don't eat, then we don't have the money to run our programs.  General school taxes and all, they don't pay for school nutrition.  We're paid off of the meals that we serve,” said Jewell.

Jewell says kids are faced with healthier menus mandated by federal guideline changes enacted in 2010. 

"So, we're going back to more sort of scratch cooking.  Well, we've lost some of those skills.  So, we're having to relearn, so we can serve better meals.  It's just one of those things that change takes times and that's what we're trying.  We're getting there, it's just taking a little longer than we anticipated," added Jewell.

Jewell says many upper grade students are going without food during the school day, while others may be going off campus. She says elementary aged children have adjusted to the changes better than middle and high schoolers.

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