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Healthy School Lunches



Many School Lunches Getting Healthier

Improving the healthfulness of school meals is a priority, with 12.5 million American children obese. PCRM’s eighth School Lunch Report Card analyzed elementary school meals in 22 districts participating in the National School Lunch Program. The average grade was 84 percent, up from 79 percent in 2008. But despite new federal legislation mandating the 31 million lunches served daily be made more healthful, some districts lag behind.

Pinellas County Schools in Florida received a 100 percent, a first in the report card’s history. To earn a perfect score, school districts must meet U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for fat and saturated fat; serve fresh fruit, low-fat vegetable side dishes, healthful vegetarian and vegan entrées, and nondairy beverages on a daily basis; and provide nutrition education and programs that promote healthful eating habits.

While nine schools in this year’s report received an A- or higher for meeting most of these requirements, five schools lagged behind with Ds for offering students high-cholesterol menu items.

School District  Score Grade
Pinellas County Schools (Fla.) 100 A+
Howard County Public School System (Md.) 97 A+
Knox County Schools (Tenn.) 97 A+
Omaha Public Schools (Neb.) 97 A+
Atlanta Public Schools (Ga.) 96 A
Broward County Public Schools (Fla.) 96 A
St. Louis Public Schools (Mo.) 95 A
Miami-Dade County Public Schools (Fla.) 93 A
Long Beach Unified School District (Calif.) 90 A-
Oakland Unified School District (Calif.) 88 B+
Washoe County School District (Nev.) 88 B+
Montgomery County Public Schools (Md.) 86 B+
Dallas Independent School District (Texas) 85 B
Seminole County Public Schools (Fla.) 80 B-
Anchorage School District (Alaska) 79 C+
Guilford County Schools (N.C.) 79 C+
School District of Philadelphia (Pa.) 75 C
Burlington School District (Vt.) 69 D+
Fresno Unified School District (Calif.) 69 D+
Davis School District (Utah) 67 D+
Houston Independent School District (Texas) 66 D
Milwaukee Public Schools (Wis.) 64 D


Read the complete 2012 School Lunch Report Card at PCRM.org/ReportCard.


Good Medicine Magazine

Good Medicine
Winter 2013
Vol. XXII, No. 1

Good Medicine
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