SACKETS HARBOR Students here and elsewhere have voiced their frustration about the tiny, federally mandated school lunch portions since the beginning of the school year.
Sackets Harbor Superintendent Frederick E. Hall addressed these concerns at Tuesdays Board of Education meeting, stating the district might survey students to learn what lunch entrees they love or hate.
Most kids would love tacos five days a week, but that would fall outside the guidelines for the meat and fat components, said Mr. Hall. We want whats best for the kids, but we have to be compliant.
As the lunch menu is tweaked over the next few months, Mr. Hall warned, it could start looking repetitive.
He reminded the board it was not just Sackets Harbor that was having trouble satisfying student appetites. Although some students may not think three chicken nuggets are enough, he said, chicken patties have the same amount of meat.
Even so, more students are starting to bring their own lunches from home.
Its down, Mr. Hall said about the lunch count. In some cases, its down about 30 lunches a day. At our little school, 20 or 30 down makes a big difference.
There are 471 students enrolled in the single-building district.
Board Vice President Stephen L. Swain asked if students had to add fruits and vegetables to their tray even if they were not going to eat them. Mr. Hall said that because of the federally regulated maximum and minimum calorie counts, it would not count as a full meal without those items.
Principal Jennifer L. Gaffney-Goodnough also addressed the lunch issue during her report. She and other staff members are taking note of how many students are buying lunch and how quickly they move through the lines to make sure all students have enough time to finish their meals.
Were monitoring it every day, she said.