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Brown bag movement grows in Mukwonago schools

Mukwonago High School, Mukwonago Area School District

Mukwonago High School students took a stand today against new federal regulations on portion sizes in school lunches. In a movement that started at Park View Middle School on Friday and resulted in a 46-percent reduction in the number of hot lunches sold, students brown-bagged lunches and avoid the smaller-portioned, higher-priced hot lunches provided by the district. 

While District Food Supervisor Pam Harris didn't have figures from today, she estimated about half the students brought brown bag lunches to protest the federal regulations, which are aimed at reducing childhood obesity.

According to MHS student Joey Bougneit, the boycott was brainstormed by the MHS football team whose athletes said it was “horrendous” going eight hours or more on the slimmed down portions.  

"Many kids had already brought their opinions to the school board and to the principal, but seeing as the school and even the state doesn't regulate this mandate, we needed something stronger," Bougneit said. "So devising this boycott was not intended to be an attack on the school. The main goal of this boycott was to attract media, faculty, student, and parent attention to the matter to try and inspire other schools nationwide to follow in our footsteps."

Harris sent a letter to parents explaining the changes and is meeting with students to explain the new federal regulations. Additionally, Harris developed a form for students to write out their complaints so the concerns can be shared with legislators and federal government officials.

MHS Principal Shawn McNulty said students are interested in other ways to make their voices heard and administration would discuss those options this week.

An explanation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids (HHFK) Act can be found here or visit www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/legislation/cnr_2010.htm

Read the complete story in Wednesday's Mukwonago Chief.

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