Geary County School district responds after unappealing school lunch causes frustrations

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (KSNT) – Geary County School district responds after unappealing school lunch causes frustrations

In the post, Jenna Prafke-Powers, a parent of a USD 475 student said, “Ok…I’m picky…but this is just WRONG! This was my kids “lunch” today at school.. thankfully I pack his lunch… I know some kids don’t have that option and are thankful for any food.. but WHAT is this?? I’m shocked! And disappointed.. sorry if some don’t agree but I’ve gota say something..”

Prafke-Powers post with the photo has been shared nearly 200 times. She tells KSNT News her son, along with other students, threw their food away and didn’t eat it.

The Geary County School District responded on Tuesday and said they are committed to meeting wellness guidelines and providing healthy food options for students. One of the aspects of wellness that we follow are government mandated nutrition guidelines. These guidelines include the requirement that certain items, such as grains, proteins, vegetables, and more be included in a well-balanced meal.

“These mandates do not excuse, however, the lunch that was served,” the district said. “Though this meal met standards we agree that focus must also be placed on making our food more appealing to students. Providing food that students are more likely to consume will help encourage healthy eating habits and reduce food waste.”

The district said students were served yogurt, cherry oat loaf, fresh red peppers, low-fat ranch dressing, pumpkin spiced, rosy applesauce, and milk. This meal was intended to be a fun day of experiencing new foods.

“District Administration is aware of the concern that this meal has caused and apologizes for the poor execution of this nutritional experience for students,” a statement from the district said.

As part of our wellness program, small committees of both students and school site councils are consulted and ideas are brought back to the USD 475 Childhood Nutrition Department for consideration, according to the district.

“In this case, one group of students asked to try red peppers, another asked for yogurt, and a third group asked to be served pumpkin. Our fault lies in combining these three suggestions into one meal instead of providing each item as a side dish or dessert to another more popular meal,” the district said.

District officials will meet this week to take steps toward avoiding this issue in the future.

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