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school lunch

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With schools shut down, districts across the state scrambled to not only continue to feed the minds of the students they serve, but their bodies as well.

Though the school year is done, many districts are still attempting to provide meals to local children and families.

So far, officials say there are plenty of options available to keep New Hampshire children fed this summer, including school breakfast and lunch programs that are extending throughout the summer and increased access to government assistance meant to cover food costs.

USDA / Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Department of Education is asking the USDA for waivers so that schools can continue offering meals to students even if buildings close in response to COVID-19.

Other states are making similar requests, as schools prepare for the possibility of having to close buildings and shift to long-term remote instruction.

Click here for our live blog for the latest updates on coronavirus in New Hampshire.

   

A New Hampshire school district has concluded a cafeteria company was right to terminate a worker who claimed she was fired for giving a student free lunch.

Bonnie Kimball alleges she was fired in March by a food supply vendor for Mascoma Valley Regional High School in Canaan, a day after giving a free lunch to a student who couldn't pay. The district denies this, saying all students get lunch regardless of income.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded grants to support bringing more local food into school cafeterias in New Hampshire.

The 2019 Farm to School grants will go to the North Country Farmers’ Cooperative and the Nashua School District.

New Hampshire received two out of 126 grants across 42 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Over $9 million in federal funding was awarded. 

In March, a lunchroom employee named Bonnie Kimball lost her job at Mascoma Valley Regional High School.

Her employer, a company called Cafe Services, based in Manchester, fired her for providing lunch to a student who had no money in their account.

The story is getting a lot of attention around the state and reporter Tim Camerato broke the story in the Valley News. He spoke with NHPR's Emily Quirk on All Things Considered.

The Claremont and Unity schools have lost more than $450,000 over two years as a result of not submitting federal paperwork for school lunch reimbursements on time, according to acting Superintendent Cory LeClair.

The district will be able to make up the majority of the funds through savings in other areas of the budget, she said, but it’s still a significant loss.

USDA / Flickr/CC

As stricter nutrition regulations go into their fifth year, some New Hampshire students and schools, continue to push back against these federal guidelines to make meals healthier.  But the rules have many supporters too who say that serving food with less sodium, fat, and calories is a necessity in an era of childhood obesity.

USDA / Flickr CC

The Manchester School Board voted Monday night not to apply for a new federal program that provides free breakfast and lunch to all students, but the state’s largest city is not alone in opting out of the program.

Any school where forty percent of students receive food stamps (SNAP), or temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) is eligible for a USDA program which began in 2010, but was only expanded to New Hampshire this year. It ensures that every student is fed breakfast and lunch.

But there’s a catch.

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  While me may not remember classmates’ names, or the books we read, there’s something about school lunch that stays with us long after graduation. Today, Word of Mouth investigates the content of children’s brown bag lunches, and discovers they’re not always healthier than cafeteria fare.  Then: a growing number of young Americans are lowering their vocal registers. We’ll look at the speech pattern known as vocal fry, and find out why women who speak with a creak have worse job prospects than their higher-register peers.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


The Lunch Box Blues

Aug 27, 2013
lunchboxblues.com

Associated Press Food Editor and Concord resident J.M. Hirsch talks with Morning Edition about packing quick and easy school lunches that are healthy- and that kids will actually want to eat.

School Lunch Gets the Chef Treatment

Sep 5, 2012
Elaine Grant for NHPR

If packing a lunch is a bit too daunting, never fear, at least not if you're the parent of a Souhegan High School Student. As part of our series Shifting the Balance, Elaine Grant got the skinny on their new, chef-inspired lunch program. (Check out the menu!)

Not long after the start of the school year, Monique Sanders, a teacher at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Manchester, Conn., realized many of her students were going to bed hungry.

"It was very bad. I had parents calling me several times a week, asking did I know of any other way that they could get food because they had already gone to a food pantry," Sanders says. "The food pantry only allows you to go twice per month, so if you are running low on your food stamps or you didn't get what you needed and you're not able to feed your family, that's very stressful."

Thiamine mononitrate, disodium inosinate, pyridoxine hydrochloride.

Why are these hard-to-pronounce ingredients added to everything from a burger served in schools to veggie burgers in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store? We try to answer that on this edition of Tiny Desk Kitchen.

It turns out the answers are as varied as the ingredients. But as we yearn to know what's in our food and how it's made, these kinds of ingredients with unfamiliar names make people suspicious.

How Pizza got Vegefied

Nov 17, 2011
(<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/instantvantage/6108039196/" target="_blank">Instant Vantage</a> via Flickr Creative Commons)

You may recall that as President, Ronald Reagan labeled ketchup as a vegetable. On Monday, a joint House-Senate spending bill added tomato paste slathered on pizza to the vegetable group. In fact, pizza is now designated as a “supervegetable”. Julian Pecquet covers health care for The Hill and has been following the bill, and the lobbying effort behind it.

We can't help but wonder what Michelle said when she found out.