“You dumped my mandate? I’ll be on the next flight to New York and when I get there I am going to rip your arms off and beat you senseless with them.”

BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. – Another two bite the dust.

Central New York’s Fayetteville-Manlius and Baldwinsville school districts are the latest to ditch the National School Lunch Program, which was revamped in 2010 under the guidance of First Lady Michelle Obama in an effort to fight childhood obesity.

Strict limits on calories, fat, sugar, carbohydrates, sodium and other aspects of the school lunch imposed by the federal government on schools participating in the free and reduced lunch program has not only increased cafeteria costs, they’ve resulted in a drastic drop in the number of participating students.

At Fayetteville-Manlius, Baldwinsville, and thousands of other districts the new regulations resulted in a sharp downturn in students who eat school lunch and a sharp increase in food waste. The lost sales are threatening the viability of cafeteria programs in schools across the country, prompting many to do without federal subsidies to serve students food they’ll actually buy and eat.

“Grilled cheese and tomato soup was a very popular lunch,” Baldwinsville Superintendent David Hamilton told WRVO public media. “We couldn’t offer that under the new guidelines of the federal government. Spaghetti and meatballs, we couldn’t offer that either.”

As a result of last year’s school lunch menu high school lunch sales in Baldwinsville plummeted from about 600 to 430 students per day.

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