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KSD serves new, healthier meal options and opportunities to fight hunger

KSD serves new, healthier meal options and opportunities to fight hunger

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Say good bye to the days of soggy and slimy school lunches. Action News went back to school Monday to get a sneak peek at some of the healthy and fresh ingredients Kennewick School District’s serving to their students.

According to KSD’s nutrition services director Sam Shick, the 2016-17 school year is all about putting an appealing spin on new school nutrition requirements.

"Our spinach we don't cook it to death, we offer it fresh," said Shick.

Action news got a refreshing look at what Kennewick school district's serving for school lunches this year.

“We’re offering deli sandwiches on a regular basis, freshly prepared chef salads,” said Shick, adding “We also offer hamburgers and chicken sandwiches that kids really like, but we offer them with a whole grain bun on them as well.”

In addition to lower-fat dairy, leaner proteins and upping the amount of whole grains, new state requirements say kids must take a half a cup of fruit and or vegetables in order for it to count as a school meal.

That's roughly double the amount required in previous standards.

Additionally, there's specific calorie and fat limitations measured to “fit the size of the student,” based on their age.

All changes impacting a growing number of hungry students.

Kennewick school district serves 9,300 lunches a day and 50 percent of their students qualify for free and reduced meals.

"Every day kids come to school in the morning hungry and without a meal in their belly what are they thinking about,” said Shick, adding “They are thinking about how hungry they are and their minds are not able to think about their studies."

To curb the issue, the district’s trying out new breakfast and after school snack programs at some of their schools.

Changes local parents like Eleanor Romero say they appreciate with their kid's education on the line.

"I notice a difference in what the kids eat whether they are tired or hungry or crabby,” said Romero, adding “It really does make a difference."

More meal options and opportunities fueling success for our students.

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