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Lunch Consumption Down at Vidalia Schools
Wednesday, 27 February 2013

February 27--  New federal regulations designed to reduce calories and sodium in school lunches are causing fewer students to eat what's on the cafeteria line in the Vidalia City school system.

ImageSchool system nutritionist Linda Collins says, "Some of the students are deciding not to eat.  We've seen a decrease in school lunch participation.  It's kind of increased again at Dickerson Primary and Sally Meadows Elementary.  I think J.R. Trippe Middle School is the lowest participation right now.  The high school students come and go with whether they choose to eat or not."

Participation at J.R. Trippe is down about eleven percent, but cafeteria manager Dianne Taylor says their students are eating what they want.

"I think they're picking up less trays, but they're eating and buying what they want such as entrees, fries or whatever it is they want to eat," she observes while noting that food on the new menu is healthier for the students.

Smaller portions are being served and more vegetables and fruits are being offered.  

"It's been really a challenge this year because we're having to adjust to the new regulations and we're trying to make it a positive thing because students need to eat more healthy, not just at school but at home, too.

"Also, you have to think about exercise.  Many students get no exercise at school.  It's a wellness issue.  It's not just food at school, it's food at home.  It's student well-being.  The whole person is what we need to think about," Collins believes. 


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