We Are Hungry video performers took their angst over the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to the internet, and it has now gone viral. Teachers and students in not only the video, but around the country, are unhappy with the new calorie and protein limit on school lunches. The initiative was heavily promoted by Michelle Obama. Although the First Lady likely had good intentions, the government intervention plan with one-size-fits-all rules are reportedly leaving students hungry. Teenagers admit to sneaking off to chow down at McDonalds, bringing calorie-loaded lunches from home, or buying squirts of chocolate syrup from their enterprising peers who sneak banned foods into the school cafeteria.
English teacher Linda O’Connor penned the We Are Hungry parody after a colleague posted a photo of her school lunch on Facebook. The amount of food on the tray sparked outraged comments from parents, students, and other teachers.
The so-called healthy lunch mandates restrict the amount of protein a school cafeteria can serve; meat is no longer allowed on the breakfast menu, according to The Blaze. Wisconsin high school athletes are particularly outraged at new rules promoted by the United States Department of Agriculture and Michelle Obama. Many of the students perform farm chores before school, have sports practice after school, and do not get home to eat dinner until 8 pm. The teenagers and some concerned teachers have spoken out against the protein and calorie restrictions, claiming that children are going hungry.
Even though the new regulations have reduced the portion size of many items, the cost of a school lunch has increased by 20 to 25 cents per tray in many areas. High school cafeterias are now prohibited from supplying lunch trays which contain more than 850 calories. The standard recommendations for caloric intake is different for males and females, but the USDA did not see fit to make that distinction when drafting the new legislation. A senior football player is allowed no more calories than a 100-pound freshman girl.
Public schools are allegedly seeing a decrease in the number of lunches ordered since the new rules took effect this school year. Students who attend school with an open lunch policy are simply walking home, to nearby fast food restaurants, or to convenience stores to calm their rumbling bellies. Grabbing a bag of chips and a candy bar to supplement the scant offerings on a cafeteria lunch tray is surely not what Michelle Obama and the USDA had in mind when attempting to thwart the mounting obesity problem in the United States. Poor students who do not have any cash in their pockets to go elsewhere for lunch are forced to make do with what is offered at the school.