Niskayuna
11:56 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Upstate NY school district leaves lunch program

School lunch staff and students enjoy the new school lunch menu created to meet the new standards at the Yorkshire Elementary School in Manassas, VA on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012.
Credit Lance Cheung / U.S. Department of Agriculture

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate New York school district is opting out of the National School Lunch Program as students throw out fruits and vegetables required under new nutritional guidelines.

The Niskayuna Central School District near Albany plans to opt out April 1. Officials in the suburban district say the number of students buying lunch dropped significantly this year and the program is running a $70,000 deficit.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines this school year set limits on calories, phase in more whole grains and require schools to serve vegetables or fruit. Praised by anti-obesity activists, they've been panned by some students and some other schools across the country have dropped out.

The USDA, which tweaked the rules last month to allow more grains and meat in kids' meals, didn't initially comment Thursday.

.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.