Michelle’s Lunch Rules Are Backfiring In A Big Way, And 55,000 Lunch Ladies Aren’t Happy

As Congress begins the process of considering whether to re-authorize First Lady Michelle Obama’s woefully unpopular school lunch requirements, forces are building to turn back the rules because fewer kids are participating in school lunch programs, there are higher levels of food waste being recorded, and school administrators are even finding more kids running to nearby fast food or convenience stores to load up on the food they like.

The Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act–the law pushing Obama’s nutrition requirements–is certainly unpopular with kids, but the law is also not a hit with school administrators or lunchroom personnel.

Last week, the 55,000 members of the School Nutrition Association lobbied against Michelle’s strict requirements, saying that what many kids call “starvation” lunches are having very unfortunate and unintended consequences. With the First Lady’s lunches being so unpopular, food waste is at an all time high as kids throw away Michelle’s unappetizing servings.

Additionally, as SNA member Debbie Beauvais notes, kids are sneaking to local stores to get the food they would rather eat.

“We have a new problem where we have to police the front doors,” Beauvais recently said. “Security is turning into a concierge because fast food trucks are pulling up. Kids are texting the local pizzeria and pizzas are showing up at lunch.”

As for the food waste, just in her district, Beauvais said that the vegetable mandate alone led to $25,834 in food waste.

As The Hill recently reported, “Of the students who are eating the school lunch, Beauvais said 23 percent are throwing away the half-cup of fruit or vegetables they are forced to take, which cost on average 26 cents each. With $112,320 spent on 432,000 cups of fruit or vegetables served a year, that’s $25,834 wasted.”

This cost is compounded to millions of dollars of food waste in schools across the country.

The SNA’s 55,000 school lunch workers insist that Obama’s starvation lunches are a big problem. The SNA wants to retool Obama’s program to give schools the flexibility to “allow schools to prepare healthy meals students will eat.”

Not everyone involved in school nutrition is calling for a complete end to the program, though. In a very politic manner, Lynn Harvey, chief of school nutrition services at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, tried to sound upbeat about the idea behind the program.

“I think right off the bat we admitted that the Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act has created a lot of positive change in school meals and we certainly don’t want to roll back school meal standards to where we were prior to the implementation,” Harvey said.

But even Harvey insisted that having more flexibility to act would be preferable to the from-the-top, overly strict requirements that Obama’s school lunch program imposes on schools.

Whatever happens, First Lady Michelle Obama is moving full speed ahead with her unpopular rules and has said that she will fight for her program “until the bitter end.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Watch: Michelle Obama Just Shared How This White People Narrative Is A ‘Burden The President And I Carry’

During a recent commencement speech she delivered at Chicago’s Martin Luther King Jr. Preparatory High School, Michelle Obama shared a message many have since criticized as a blatant misrepresentation of white Americans.

“Wherever you go,” she told the graduating seniors, “you will encounter people who doubt your very existence. Folks who believe that hard-working families with strong values don’t exist on the south side of Chicago or in Detroit or in El Paso or in Indian country or in Appalachia.”

With her invocation – whether direct or indirect – of several minority populations, numerous social media users have surmised that the intolerant “folks” she referenced in the sentence above must be white.

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She encouraged those in the audience to rewrite the stories she contends have been misrepresented by the “folks” who serve as her story’s collective antagonist.

Obama went on to assert that these unidentified enemies “don’t believe you are real,” explaining the ostensible effects of this phenomenon extend all the way to the first family.

“And that’s a burden that President Obama and I proudly carry every single day in the White House.”

Such rhetoric, one Twitter critic concluded, has secured Michelle Obama’s dubious place in history.

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“This woman has a huge chip on her shoulder,” wrote one Breitbart reader in response to Obama’s recent speech, “even bigger than her husband’s.”

Has Michelle Obama been a divisive figure during her husband’s presidency? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Michelle O Set To Tour European Hot Spots For A Week…And Look Who’ll Be Tagging Along

Just a few months ago, in March of this year, Michelle Obama went on the Ellen DeGeneres TV show and talked about how her life in the White House can be so hard. As Western Journalism pointed out at the time, the first lady complained, “The one thing people don’t realize is, we can’t do little things like open windows.”

Oh, no.

Not long after that little “true confession” session on Ellen, Mrs. Obama left the confines of the People’s House in Washington to wing her way to Asia to promote her pet project called “Let Girls Learn.” In Japan, Mrs. Obama ran up a tab of nearly $80,000 for a fleet of rental cars to carry her and her massive entourage to destinations such as the shrine of a Japanese rice god. Then, in Cambodia, Michelle and a delegation of U.S. government officials were booked into luxurious accommodations that cost American taxpayers close to a quarter of a million dollars.

Oh, yes.

Right around a year before that pricey Asian jaunt, the first lady made an “official visit” to China during which she was accompanied not only by her entourage of Secret Service agents and assistants, but also by her daughters and her mother. Reports out of Beijing were not so glowing about the way the first family dealt with the locals at posh accommodations.

Uh-oh.

The Daily Mail reported: “Michelle Obama and three of her family members are staying in a $8,350-per-night Beijing presidential suite, but despite a 24-hour butler and other perks that come with the lodging, her entourage has inconvenienced ‘pretty much everyone’ and made the hotel staff ‘fed up,’ a well-placed hotel staffer has told MailOnline.”

Now, according to an announcement from The White House, the first lady is soon to be back on the road again…or to be more precise, back in the air and away from those frustrating closed windows at the uncomfortable DC mansion she calls home.

And when she takes off for Europe aboard her taxpayer-funded plane, bound for a taxpayer-funded stay at an expensive hotel, where she will enjoy taxpayer-funded amenities and events, Michelle Obama will be accompanied by her two daughters and her mother, Marian Robinson.

So why is the first lady bound for London, Milan, and Vicenza, Italy, for a week in mid-June? In part, says the White House notice, Mrs. Obama will once more be promoting her Let Girls Learn initiative as she did in Japan and Cambodia. Plus, she’ll put in an appearance at the Milan Expo 2015 to push her agenda for a healthier planet by way of Let’s Move.

The announcement of the first lady’s latest tour schedule doesn’t say much about what she and her family members will be doing all the time she’s not promoting girls’ education or physical activity or briefly visiting with members of the U.S. military. The one hint that there will be a little pleasure time in the schedule: “The First Lady will also visit cultural sites in Venice before returning to Washington, DC.”

When the trip was announced on Twitter, most of the comments were favorable, supporting the first lady’s excursion. A few tweets, however, noted that the American taxpayer is once again picking up the tab for what, to some, amounts to a pretty awesome summer vacation.

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

School Board Member Ate The Lunch Michelle O Wants For Kids, Her Reaction Says It All

What just happened at a Denver middle school is the latest example of a lunch program failing to deliver meals students actually like, following the guidelines championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Kepner Middle School’s food problems, however, went beyond seeking to provide lunches that meet the National School Lunch Program guidelines.

Stephanie Torres, a student at Kemper, raised the alarm at a school board meeting about meals not properly prepared, food shortages, and limited choices that prompted a school board member and representatives from Padres y Jóvenes Unidos (“Parents and Youth United”) to make a lunchtime visit to the cafeteria.

School officials accommodated the May 12 visit, but the cafeteria staff was not made aware of it. What the visitors received when they went through the lunch line was shocking.

Chalkbeat Colorado reports that Monica Acosta, lead health justice organizer with Padres, went along on the visit and took a picture of her lunch tray. “It was heartbreaking. That’s the type of food Kepner students have been having all year long,” she said.

Image Credit: Padres Y Jovenes Unidos

Image Credit: Padres y Jovenes Unidos

The meal included outdated milk, a burned bun, undercooked chicken, an unripened pear (too hard to eat), and frozen strawberries.

Torres and Acosta have reported that the school lunches have improved during the last three weeks since the visit. The Denver Public Schools’ nutrition services department met twice with representatives from Padres and parents from other schools where there have been complaints. Acosta says she is grateful for the changes that have been implemented. She believes the school system is “definitely on the right track.”

The school plans to put Kepner on a different meal model for next year.

A New York school district announced earlier this week that it is withdrawing one of its schools from the National School Lunch Program altogether. Greater Johnstown School District in update New York determined that the program is exacerbating the school’s budget challenges, due in part to food waste. The district is planning a pilot program at one of its schools, where it will implement a less costly local alternative.

The Washington Free Beacon reports: “Since the introduction of the National School Lunch Program in 2012, 1.2 million students have dropped out of [it]. Those who remain continue to throw away food, resulting in $1 billion in food waste.”

A Harvard study found that students are eating more fruits (up 23 percent) and vegetables (up 16 percent) since the new standards were implemented. However, a study by the School Nutrition Association found that 81 percent of the schools surveyed reported an increase in waste. Topping the plate waste list, which any parent could have guessed, was vegetables.

47 percent of schools reported a “decrease” or “strong decrease” in food revenues under the new guidelines, while 87 percent reported an increase in food costs (with 36 percent indicating a “strong increase.”)

Image Credit: School Nutrition Association

Image Credit: School Nutrition Association

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

West Virginia Teacher Facing Fine For Violating Michelle Obama’s Nutrition Policy

A West Virginia school is in hot water after violating a policy which states no food can be given out as a reward.

At Williamson PreK-8 in Williamson, W.V., about 80 miles south of Charleston, an unidentified teacher is facing a possible fine and other sanctions for handing out candy as an incentive to her students, the Williamson Daily News reported.

When it was discovered the teacher was giving out candy to her pupils, Mingo County Schools Child Nutrition Director Kay Maynard contacted officials at the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) to report the teacher.

Maynard also spoke with Williamson PreK-8 principal Shannon Blackburn, explaining there could be a monetary fine as a result of the incident. The Williamson Daily News gives further background:

Maynard later spoke with WVDE and explained that since this was a well-intentioned effort by the teacher and not a deliberate attempt to violate state policy a less severe consequence should be considered. Officials at WVDE agreed, and instead of imposing a fine, the staff at Williamson PreK-8 School will be required to develop a corrective action plan to include training on child nutrition policies.

WVDE policy is such that food cannot be given out as a reward and cannot be withheld as punishment.

Parents at the school have already started a penny drive to help defray the costs of any possible fines imposed on the unnamed teacher.

h/t: EAG News

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth