Students in Calcasieu Parish speak out about school lunch - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Students in Calcasieu Parish speak out about school lunch changes

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CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Students at various schools across Calcasieu Parish say they want better food and more of it. 

But it wasn't the feedback from students that was surprising, it was what was being thrown away.

"I want more food!" one student at LaGrange High School said.

And they want something better.

When asked if he liked the current lunches served, LaGrange senior Travis Williams said, "No, not at all."

KPLC met the students for lunch in their own cafeterias at Henry Heights Elementary, S.J. Welsh Middle School and LaGrange High School. 

Each school is supposed to serve the same thing, which they did on the day KPLC visited. 

Students were served hotdogs, baked beans, a serving of fruit, milk choice and at the high school level, students received chili for the hotdogs.

The different portion sizes for each school level needs to meet the new guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

From kindergarten through fifth grade, the maximum calorie count allowed to serve is 650 calories for lunch. And 700 calories for sixth through eighth grade. Ninth through twelfth grades are allowed 850 calories, maximum.

Food Service workers said serving chili at the high school level helps meet that number for lunch.

But the healthier food on the plate, like the apple, met its fate not in the stomachs of the students, but in the trash cans.

KPLC asked, "Are you going to eat the apple?"

"Nah," Donald Shailow, student at LaGrange said.

KPLC asked, "Do you like to eat the fruit and beans? Are they good?"

"The fruit and beans not," Ereonia and Kawana White said, both students at S.J. Welsh Middle School. "They don't taste really good."

The fruit ended up in the trash can.

One student passed up the fruit option at lunch time and said he wished french fries were served instead.

"I want what we used to have, like regular bread, no wheat bread because it's not good," said LaGrange freshman Jonique Armstrong.

Other students said they would like better food and more of it, saying the food isn't the best food served.

There is noticeably a lot of food thrown away, while some kids want more food. 

Last year, Calcasieu Parish Food Services spend almost $5 million in food costs to meet the new guidelines. That's buying whole grain products and more fruits and vegetables. 

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