Teen athletes complain about school lunches

St. JOSEPH (AP) — The new lighter lunches that public schools are now required to provide have left some athletes in St. Joseph wanting more.

The Healthy Hunger-Free Act of 2010, which was implemented in school lunches this year, allows high school students between 750 to 850 calories in the lunch program. Many student athletes at St. Joseph’s Central High School have been complaining that the lunches aren’t enough, The St. Joseph News-Press reports.

“The portions have been cut down, and we’re just not getting as much,” said Daven Tomlinson, a linebacker on Central High School’s football team.

Christian Tremain, a cornerback and wide receiver for the Indians, said some days he can’t get through the practice with the lighter lunches.

“I’m not getting any energy at all,” he said.

Robin Rhodes, director of nutrition for the St. Joseph School District, that for some students, the portions are too small.

“Especially when you’re talking some of those kids who might be weighing 225 pounds and they’re 6-foot-3,” Rhodes said. “Just by virtue of their size, their caloric intake might be greater. But then add to it their athleticism and the burning of the calories every day ... yeah that’s probably true.”

But Rhodes said there is not much the district can do about the changes. And next year, the program also will limit the number of calories in school breakfast to a maximum of 600 per meal. Rhodes suggests students try taking an apple from the lunchroom with them to tide them over through practice.

“This is out of the federal laws from the USDA and it affects every school district in the country that accepts the moneys and reimbursements under the national school lunch program,” Rhodes said. “To get the money, we have to adhere to them. If we fail to adhere, we would lose the program and lose the reimbursements.”

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Information from: St. Joseph News-Press, http://www.stjoenews-press.com

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