Wentzville School District opts out of National School Lunch Program

WENTZVILLE, Mo. - The Wentzville Board of Education has opted out of the National School Lunch Program beginning next school year. They say kids aren't eating under the current guidelines.

It's clear kids don't like the lunch provided by the Wentzville School District under the guidelines of the Health Hunger for Kids Act of 2010.

"The students just aren't eating," said Susan Raster, child nutrition director for the Wentzville School District. "Our participation keeps going down. We've lost money."

The district lost $83,000 this past year, served 75,000 fewer students, and lost about $95,000 in a la carte sales this year.

The school says they have done everything to make current regulations work, but kids don't like the food, and it's frustrating parents as kids come home hungry.

"It's lower calories, lower sodium, portion size changed a bit for high schoolers."

Everything has to be whole grain. Even the free and reduced lunch kids stopped eating and that's when they knew they had to make a change for next school year. Wentzville feels they can provide lunch themselves and cover the costs instead of dealing with the government.

"We'll still provide a healthy lunch but we'll set guidelines ourselves."

"You see an increase in enrollment yet a drop in participation when it comes to our offerings. We have both for lunch and breakfast, the decision made sense," said Dr. Curtis Cain, superintendent of the Wentzville School District.

The district says the lunch issues are happening at several schools. And that you will probably see other districts following their lead.

"My main job is to get kids to eat," Raster said. "We felt we needed to try something different."