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Kansas Students Stage School Lunch Boycott to Protest Federal Lunchroom Nutrition Law


"This is not about food, but about control, and what role the government plays..."

Students protesting the calorie limitations and nutrition requirements were not purchasing lunches from the school this week. (Image:

After students have been saying "we are hungry" due to new nutrition guidelines for school lunches that limit calories and increase fruits and vegetables, a group in Abilene, Kan. participated in a three-day protest against it.

The Salina Journal reports students at Abilene Senior High School against the calorie limitations in the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, which was signed into law by the president, refused to buy school lunches, thinking it would have financial impacts that would speak louder than words.

"The biggest way to get into someone's head is to mess with their pockets," freshman Gehrig Geissinger said, according to the Journal.

Here's more from the Journal on student's thoughts regarding the lunch program protest:

Participating in the protest was no big deal for senior Kae Brown, 17. Kae, who sat in the hallway nursing a soft drink during lunch period, said she usually doesn't buy cafeteria meals but understands the motivation behind the protest.

"People complained there wasn't enough food before, so I can see why they throw a fit now," she said.

[World History teacher Wendy] Sherbert said she's proud of her students for peacefully protesting something they strongly disagree with.

"They've been very respectful and quiet," she said. "This is not about food, but about control, and what role the government plays -- if the government should be a substitute for parents teaching their own children."

"Most people have been supportive of what we're doing," Sherbert said.

It was a recent lesson taught by Sherbert on peaceful protests that inspired the students to take action with this cause.

Even workers in the lunch room aren't necessarily in agreement with the new regulations. The Journal reported food server Kari Beetch saying that although they're doing what they're told, she believes "the amount of food served should be based on the individual. Every kid needs different calories."

Although nutrition requirements and calorie limitations have been in the spotlight from the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act lately, the act also has provisions that provide breakfasts for students who need it and also dinners and meals over summer vacation. The dinners earlier this month were featured by NBC's Nightly News. Watch the clip:

It may seem ironic given the complaints surrounding the lunch program's calorie limitations supposedly leaving students hungry, NBC reported in its clip that studies show students perform better when they're well fed as reason for supporting the federally subsidized dinners.

Featured image via AP by Daniel Hulshizer.


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