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NJ High School Kids Bring Meals From Home To Boycott New Lunch Rules

Parsippany Lunch Boycott (credit: CBS 2)

Parsippany Lunch Boycott (credit: CBS 2)

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PARSIPPANY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some New Jersey students claim they’re starving thanks to new federal guidelines mandating smaller portions be served in school cafeterias.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney On The Story

Now, they’re taking a stand and demanding more food.

Outraged students at Parsippany Hills High School brought brown bag and lunch box meals from home on Friday to boycott the cafeteria’s food, which is now smaller in size but greater in price.

New federal guidelines pushed by First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity have put limits on proteins and carbs to help meet the 850-calorie lunch restriction.

“There’s a lot less turkey on the sandwich, there’s 33 percent less turkey and the size of the bread has been reduced by a third,” said Mark Vidovich, who runs Pomptonian Food Service.

Vidovich’s private company prepares meals for 80 districts, including Parsippany Hills High. He has no choice but to follow the new mandate, Sloan reported.

Vidovich said it costs more to make healthy food. An average meal now costs $2.60.

“I brought ham and cheese with lettuce some chips and cookies,” student Chris Migaoa told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

“It’s too small, it doesn’t fill me up and everything,” student Troy Fife told Sloan.

The leaner and greener menu now offers more fruits and vegetables.

“Some things are healthy but I can’t honestly say everything’s healthier because some things don’t even look appetizing,” one student said.

“If somebody’s obese why should someone like me who’s not obese have to suffer and eat a small meal when I’d rather have a bigger meal,” student Brandon Faris said.

Pizza and an Asian buffet on the menu Friday went untouched because of the boycott, organized by two students, who passed out fliers.

“It went over perfect. I would say 10 to 20 people bought lunch, and half of those people [have a] free lunch program and they didn’t pay anything,” said student Brandon Faris.

The changes to the school lunch menu have also inspired other students across the nation to post online parody videos of children falling asleep in class and performing sluggishly in sports.

The only people suffering, said PTSA President Sandy Giersyk, is the food company that had to haul off untouched lunches, donating them, Sloan reported.

The private food company owner said on most days lunch workers find students are throwing away their fruits and vegetables — even though lunch workers are  forced to put them on plates.