#ThanksMichelleObama: Students criticize school lunches

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By Emanuella Grinberg


(CNN) — Students unhappy with school meals are taking it out on the first lady by sharing images on social media of lunches sarcastically tagged #ThanksMichelleObama.

Some of the images depict formless, mushy blobs on a lunch tray. Others show patties on whole-grain buns accompanied by an apple where one could imagine a pile of tater tots residing in earlier times.

The complaints focus on taste, texture and portion sizes under new nutrition regulations promoted by the first lady. The standards were implemented as part of Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative to reduce childhood obesity. They took effect in 2012 with the goal of including more whole grains, vegetables and fruits in school meals while reducing fat and sodium. But students say the changes make the food unpalatable.

“I could understand how it might seem ungrateful if I got this lunch for free. But I don’t,” 17-year-old Hunter Whitney told CNN. “I feel like many people would be upset too if the lunch they bought looked [like this].”

Backlash followed from others who said students were wrong to blame Michelle Obama for the quality of school meals.

Instead, they suggested that students direct their grievances at local school districts — or get their lunches from somewhere else.

Whitney, who attends Richland Center High School in Wisconsin, said students deserve better options, especially those who can’t leave school grounds during the day.

“Because my school has a closed campus, it’s either bring your own, buy low-quality food you don’t like, or go hungry.”

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  • Bob

    Liberals just aren’t happy if they can’t tell other people what they should eat, or in the case of New York City, how large their soft drink containers can be.

  • Mormanic Imam

    Seems that things haven’t changed much in the 25 years or so since I was in grade school. Not really sure what the complaint is. It’s low-cost affordable food. These children and their families should be thankful for the food provided to them.

    • Sad Mom

      Be thankful for what?! Pay a grossly overpriced amount for this slop? You obviously don’t know what it is like to have your kid come home after having eaten a full tray of this “food” with their tummy hurting. Saddest part is not knowing whether it hurts more from the disgusting mush or because they are still so hungry from the tiny portion.

    • Tiffany

      Nutrition is not a one size fits all dietary recommendations are based on age and gender so each kid won’t need the same thing, also calorie intake is based on age, weight, hight, and gender decide calorie intake so imposing a specific diet on an entire student body is extremely ineffective. When I was in school 7 Yeats ago the food was much more appetizing than that barf on a plate they are getting; not to mention we had at least three different options to choose from including a salad bar

  • diane

    (Another imbecilic comment by Mormanic, I think he is a paid troll!) Anyhow, I was going to say I agree with the kids, the lunches look disgusting! And kids, if you want Michelle Obama to get, use her real name “Michael”. First transgender masquerading around as First Lady, we have all been duped!

  • Jen

    People need to quit complaining that this is a federal government issue and talk to their own school districts. Provo has Awesome lunches, https://www.facebook.com/ITSMealsProvo . If you want something changed DO something about it. Talk to someone who can actually change the food at you specific school, Michelle Obama isn’t going to come to every school that has crappy lunch to tell them to do it better. Take charge and start talking to the right people.

    • Finny Wiggen

      Most of Utah opts out of the Michelle Obama food plan. And loses money as a result. The reason Provo has “awesome” lunches is precisely because they rejected Obama’s absurd suggestions.

      The feds are mandating the absurd. Fortunately in Utah, we have enough common sense to ignore them.

  • Paul the great

    I went to my child’s school to eat with her about one week ago. The disgusting state of the mere appearance of the food let alone what they served is ridiculous. I attended Oquirrh Elementary in West Jordan, Utah as a child; school lunch was always delicious and filling. I went to my daughter’s school and the food was dried hamburger Pattie, no veggies for the burger, steamed carrots and broccoli, grapes, and juice or milk. What are we paying for? I didn’t understand why she didn’t want to eat school lunch and now I do; it isn’t filling and it tastes disgusting. My child attends Mountain View Elementary in Layton, Utah. #thanksmichelleobama

  • DMoney

    Bring your own lunch to school. Government food rations aren’t supposed to be good. A ham sandwich and chips from home cost $1 and takes 2 minutes to make. Don’t let the gov’t educate you let alone feed you.

  • Elaine Senior

    I’m also unhappy about the food guidelines, but for an entirely different reason. The school I work at serves beautiful food. But because of the guidelines, the kids are required to take certain things, whether they like them or not. And those things end up in the garbage. It makes me sick to see fresh fruits and vegetables go directly into a garbage can. You can require the kids to take them, but it doesn’t do any good if they go into the garbage. Then it’s just obscene waste.

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