Students Trashing Federally Mandated Fruit

Federal mandates require more fruit in student lunches, but that fruit is ending up in the garbage.


An apple a day may be good, but two is too much for many students.

That’s what one Hamden High School senior told the Board of Education Tuesday.

Leah Kesselman is starting her second year as a student representative on the board, and one of her responsibilities is bringing her peer’s concerns to the attention of board members. And on Tuesday, at the board's first meeting of the new school year, she told them how students are upset that they are now forced to take two pieces of fruit as part of their lunches, and how that fruit usually ends up in the garbage.

“This year there are a lot of changes in the cafeteria,” she said, referring to new federal mandates that call for more fruit and vegetables to be included in school lunches. “I’ve been asked to bring up how kids are being forced to take two pieces of fruit, and subsequently they are being thrown out, and it’s an incredible waste.”

The district has no choice but to require the students to take the additional fruit, Business Manager Michael Belden said.

“We are seeing dramatic changes in what we are required to do on the state and federal levels,” he said, and there are more to come, including a decrease in sodium levels and even more fruit requirements.

“We are going to have to take a look and see what we can do” about the student’s concerns, he said.



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And it’s not just the high school students who aren’t fans of fruit, other educators said – the wasted fruit is a problem at all education levels, including at the elementary schools.

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,” board chairman Michael D’Agostino said. “Maybe we could put it aside and donate it.”

But board member Jim Pascarella said that once fruit is handed out to students, it could probably not be taken back and donated.

“Once you hand it to someone, you can’t take it back,” he said. “If they chose not to accept it, you might be able to put it aside but once you hand it to someone you can’t take it back – you have to be careful with something like that.”

“Instead of years and years of fruit being thrown into bins to be fed to horses, maybe students should be talked to about making better choices,” board member John Keegan said. “If we hope to change eating habits, perhaps a better approach is to have teachers why this is being presented.

“I’m not saying it’s a great idea to force kids to take two fruits,” he said, “but it’s a mandate.”

It also might be a good idea to see what kinds of fruit the students would like to see offered, Kesselman suggested.

“I know I’m seeing an awful lot of apples and oranges,” she said. A wider variety, including items like fruit salad, might be more palatable and end up consumed rather than thrown away, she said.

The issue was referred to the board's Operations Committee, which will investigate and report back to the full board.

cheryl September 12, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Doesn't anyone pay attention to what is happening in your own country AND THE WORLD? I think its about time you start. It's our country our freedoms & liberties and our CONSTITUTION. You will lose all if we're not careful.
Marjorie B. September 12, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Offer the fruit, make it look delicious, ripe and desireable and they MIGHT JUST eat it. Kids have many choices in front of them and they need to learn to make good ones along the way. If they don't, they will have a consequence of being over weight, tired and feeling unhealthy. We can't mandate what people will eat and that includes adults. The ruling class thinks we are all dumb and can't think for ourselves, claiming that parents dont know any better and don't offer produce at home. That is complete bologni! No pun intended. Give parents some credit!!
Marjorie B. September 12, 2012 at 06:35 PM
The more government control....the less freedom we all have! Well said! maybe there is some hope for Connecticut after all!
cheryl September 12, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Obama Ready to Sign Internet Control Executive Order Read more: http://politicaloutcast.com/2012/09/obama-ready-to-sign-internet-control-executive-order/#ixzz26HYbsnMP So its, food, banks, finance, housing, education, energy, media, healthcare, land, and AS OF TODAY- THE INTERNET for control. WARNING....
cheryl September 12, 2012 at 06:45 PM
ALL UNDER THE GUISE of security, saftey, consumer protections, environment, all for YOUR OWN GOOD CUZ THEY KNOW BETTER. They know better how to feed your kids,(you are stupid) how to protect you from those nasty bankers, (you are stupid) to manage your land ( you are stupid) to save the planet ( you are stupid). That's exactly what they are saying to us. THEY KNOW BETTER. WARNING...This nightmare needs to be stopped dead in its tracks while we can still stop it. Let it go on and there will come a point where it will be too late. Start locally- resist this ICLEI- Agenda 21 in our town.
Linda C September 12, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Thanks Tom, believe me I wish I was wrong. Other than surviving a Tornado, I've never before felt so helpless in the face of destruction as with the insane political influence that has been blatantly given the golden seal approval. Watching Americans hitting rock bottom financially, watching our Great Country and once leader of the free world being mocked by foreign countries who wouldn't even exist if not for us, makes me sick. Watching a sitting President APOLOGIZE for AMERICANS to third world leaders, and belittle the office with numerous appearances on day and night time talk shows, cuts to the quick the TOTAL lack of RESPECT he himself holds for this country. Instead of mandatory fruits and vegetables in our schools, it should be mandatory to have a showing of the film 2016. You are correct there are many governmental programs that do a lot of good, however I don't recall Americans not being allowed to chose to accept them or not. With the acception of Taxes of course! It's a dangerous thing occuring, and as I said before. ANYTHING can be spun to seem like a sensible idea under the guise of "WHATS BEST FOR THE CHILDREN". However even the tiniest of rights given up volunterily is a dangerous beginning. WE WILL NEVER REGAIN ANY OF THE RIGHTS BEING LOST TODAY, AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT WE WON'T HAVE ANY!
cheryl September 12, 2012 at 06:47 PM
And get rid of this administration, all the czars, all the muslim brotherhood personell within our gov. and get back to AMERICAN VALUES AND PRINCIPLES AND OUR CONSTITUTION.
cheryl September 12, 2012 at 06:49 PM
DOES A MATURE WOMAN AT AGE 65 need maturnity coverage? But one size will fit all. just saying...
cheryl September 12, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Not that local gov's need a backbone- they just need to learn the words "no thank you". It's way beyond socialism. It's total control over your life thru a global governance - that is the long term goal. That's Where all these regulations, usurping the constitution, undermining militaryw/ cuts, universal healthcare, taking down the woodin st fence promoting no boundaries w/ bike paths, it all comes down to the big picture and we must resist. We will not comply. That should be our motto. And change all in local government. Just vote of others.
cheryl September 12, 2012 at 07:19 PM
saw that movie- now Dinesh is under attack from the WH. What bullies and just because "it the Chicago way" doesn't make it rights. Last time I looked threatening, slander,is criminal. When does all this become treason? That's what I want to know. We must stand against all of this. Linda you said it- the tiniest rights given up without notice from citizens is by far dangerous. WARNING. This is a wake up call for all of us. And to see what happened on the anniversary of 9/11- with the coordinated attacks on our embassy's in Libya & Egypt is a slap in our face,when we know that Andy Stern was there prior to the Arab Spring, when BHO condones the Arab Spring along with the occupiers. This guy has to go. He's is an anti- American anti colonialist, and holds America at fault for every ill in the world. What he is doing both foreign and domesticly is to take down America. Why is this not treason? or at least sabotage. We need to call our congressmen and senators. This is wrong.
Thomas Alegi September 12, 2012 at 07:28 PM
“We want to achieve a new and better order of society: in this new and better society, there must be neither rich nor poor; all will have to work. Not a handful of rich people, but all the working people must enjoy the fruits of their common labor. Machines and other improvements must serve to ease the work of all and not to enable a few to grow rich at the expense of millions and tens of millions of people.” Would Linda or anyone, want to guess who wrote the above? I can tell you for sure, it was not President Obama, and even though it sounds like something, he would say. The man who wrote the above was Vladimir Ilyich Lenin who was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist who served as the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924.
Linda C September 12, 2012 at 08:03 PM
The Quote of the Decade: "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better." ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006 Pass it on 'til eternity.. (.. .it was so nice of him to give us this great quote for posterity!)
Babs Saga September 12, 2012 at 09:04 PM
How much criticism of mr obama is really masking opposition to his color? It is not permissable to object to his color without being labeled a bfot so other ways must be found.
Larry September 12, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Why dont we do what we always do? Just blame the unions.Thats much easier to do then to find out the real and true facts.Don't you all think? It's the unions fault!!! Damn Unions!!! There much better, I feel much better now
Mark C September 12, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Who pays for the school lunches? OH, we do. Right, right...I don't want my tax dollars going to highly processed hydrogenated franken-foods that are going to make the kids of Hamden unhealthy...meaning more tax dollars down the road to treat their type 2 diabetes, attention deficity disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure...and weight loss surgery. Yeah, let them eat fruit!
Mario September 13, 2012 at 03:13 AM
A classmate of mine from years back who battled weight issues recently passed away from complications related to his weight. His "parents" allowed him to eat whatever he wanted with no regard for the long-term effects this might (and eventually) have. I am not interested in turning this issue into a political stance, but suffice to say that sometimes someone needs to step in when the freedoms held by people are ignored or abused, as was the case with these so-called parents. I'm not here to tell parents how to be parents, but who advocates for the children when someone abandons their duties?
Ted B September 13, 2012 at 04:43 AM
The problem with fruit is it's very expensive and very perishable. Apples and oranges and less expensive and less perishable than say watermelon, which would probably be more popular but have a much shorter shelf life. Or something like kiwi, or strawberries, or raspberries, or blueberries, which I'm sure would be more popular, but they're very expensive and very perishable. But what's the point of serving tons of apples and oranges if they're just going to be thrown away? Yes the kids should be eating more fruit but they need to use common sense. If they aren't going to eat two pieces of fruit, don't give it to them. Screw the mandates. They're nonsensical.
Linda C September 13, 2012 at 05:26 AM
How wonderful, would that be true Mark. But the fact (reason for the article), is that they AREN'T EATING IT!! They are tossing it in the garbage cans. SO DO YOU FEEL BETTER HAVING MORE NUTRITIONAL FOOD TOSSED, RATHER THAN PROCESSED? How about the PARENTS offer them fruit and vegetables at home and they be treated like AMERICANS and get to choose what they would like to eat for lunch! By all means have fruit readily available, but the entire point being made here has NOTHING TO DO WITH FRUIT! It is the fact that NO ONE IS GIVEN A CHOICE, it has become MANDATORY! That isn't the AMERICAN WAY! We do not make people's choices for them, that is done in OTHER COUNTRIES WHERE ARE YOUNG ARE DYING SO THOSE PEOPLE CAN HAVE FREEDOM OF CHOICE!! WHAT'S THE SENSE IF AMERICA NO LONGER OFFERS FREEDOM OF CHOICE? As for my objection to Mr Obama's race, I believe he is half white and half black. So if you were correct Babs, I would be objecting to only HALF his race! Nice try though. In all fairness, truth be told most voted him in merely because of his color. As for RE-ELECTING HIM, EVEN THOSE WHO THOUGHT IT WAS A GREAT IDEA TO MAKE HISTORY MUST ADMIT. AS IN ALL HISTORY IF WE DON'T LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES, WE ARE DESTINED TO REPEAT THEM! I don't object to the fact that he is black, I object to the fact he is a SOCIALIST and a HUGE THREAT TO THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE!
Mark C September 13, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Linda C, they do have a choice...they can choose to bring their lunch from home and eat whatever crap they want. But if they want to eat lunch that I am providing, then we get to choose. In that case, we choose (through our government representatives) to only offer our children healthy choices, because offering one healthy choice and one crap choice has been proven not to work. In fact, even our military leaders think this is a good idea. Too many young men and women these days are too unfit to enter the forces. Stop watching so much FOX news...you will feel better about America.
cheryl September 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM
cheryl September 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Do you want to pay for my unnecessary insurance policy that mandates maturnity, or birthcontrol if I'm 70 yrs old? That I guess is ok.
cheryl September 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM
The gov needs to stay our of our lives. As Bloomberg is mandating salt, sugar, 32 oz drinks (but we can buy 3 12 oz cans) makes no sense. As Michele wants to regulate what is on our supermarket shelves. All that does is put companies out of business. Wait- this is called CONDITIONING. Making tiny steps into our food choices and when the gov gives you a choice between an apple or an orange- those are you LIMITED choices. The gov is conditioning you, nudging you into a certain behavior. They need to do the conditioning to eventually CONTROL food, which they will do if you allow these baby steps into your lives.
cheryl September 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Linda is right -
cheryl September 13, 2012 at 12:41 PM
They are the ruling class.
cheryl September 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM
LOOK- if Obamacare wasn't a law, if all the other treaties, mandates, regulations, where not being implemented then maybe, just maybe the gov can SUGGEST that people eat healthy -the 5 food groups as we learned in school. But with all the other CONTROLS that are being brought forward - we need to STOP and think about their goals. Its not just school meals, its not just survaillance, its not just gun control, its not just abortions, its not just energy, its not just finance, its not just heathcare, its not just environmental, its not just 96% mtgs, its not just land use, its not just state run media, its not just regulations the seas, its not just regulation of the internet. THERE IS A PATTERN - if you can't see it - you're blinded by your ideology.THEY ARE REGULATING EVERYTHING. Nudging you into a certain behavior. Gas price increase to buy the volt- things like that. BIG GOV NEVER EVER WORKS- Enough said.
James September 13, 2012 at 02:30 PM
"...meaning more tax dollars down the road to treat their type 2 diabetes, attention deficity disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure...and weight loss surgery. " And your tax dollars would not pay for these without the (allegedly) Affordable Care Act. Education is the answer, but left to government schools, we should not expect a better success rate than in other areas of "education".
James September 13, 2012 at 02:44 PM
"they can choose to bring their lunch from home and eat whatever crap they want." Maybe. In North Carolina, the schools took the mandate to heart and check(ed?) the contents of student's lunches. If they determine the lunch does not meet government specifications, the lunch is discarded and the children are forced to eat the government lunch. In at least one case, the home lunch was discarded in favor of processed chicken-nuggets. "[...] lunch that I am providing, then we get to choose." This statement appears to be at odds with the mandate; local control is lost under a mandate. If you are referring to Federal control, then you may be right, but I don't recall the initiative being part of anyone's platform.
Angela September 13, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Maybe if you did watch Fox news you may learn something.
cheryl September 13, 2012 at 03:18 PM
The middle east is on fire, my suggestion is plan. Buy extra food, take some cash out of the bank to sustain you for about 3 months. Israel is surrounded and our embassy's are under attack. They are chanting dealth to America. This is Soros's MO. He always creates this chaos, destablizing countries before he strikes. Just prepare. At the most you will still have your $$$ and some extra food if nothing happens here. But the grand plan is it will happen here. We have a P that has encouraged this chaos. We had a stable middle east with Bubarak, & Gadaffi, Although they were bad guys - they both kept a relatively stable middle east. This guy is on the wrong side. JUST PREPARE. WARNING. If Bernake starts to digitize money again (QE3) prepare. Our dollar is down today. Chart a new course and survive the chaos.
Linda C September 13, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Mark the only reason I am even on this platform is to hope to encourage people like yourself to stop drinking the Kool-Aid and see the BIG PICTURE!! I do happen to LOVE AMERICA and ALL IT STANDS FOR!! Which has been up until recently (the past 4 years), having the option of CHOICE!! That to me is the ISSUE, not fruit or if an apple is more nutritional than chicken nuggets. I'm not an idiot, I am well aware of what children should and shouldn't be eating for their own good. However I don't agree that I NOR ANYONE ELSE HAS THE RIGHT TO MANDATE WHAT THEY CONSUME!! TODAY!!! One more right was taken from the citizens of NYC!! Banning large soft drinks!!! SOUNDS STUPID AND MINOR AND FOR THEIR OWN GOOD? NO !!!! It's not in our best interest for the GOVERNMENT TO HAVE CONTROL OVER INDIVIDUAL CHOICES -EVER!!! This is how it begins!! Hitler thought he knew what was best for GERMANY AND IT'S CITIZEN AS WELL! GET THE POINT? NOT ABOUT FRUIT!! IT'S ABOUT THE FUTURE OF AMERICA!! I'D RATHER HAVE FAT FREE KIDS, THAN SKINNY ONES STANDING IN POTATO LINES!! This isn't a Democrat, Republican fight, a liberal news or Fox news fight, it is the fight against GOVERNMENT CONTROL AND RIGHTS BEING SLOWLY TAKEN AWAY AND PEOPLE LIKE YOURSELF WHO ARE OK WITH THAT! SCARY!!


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