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GOP-Backed Plan Would Let LAUSD, Other School Districts Opt Out Of Healthy Lunches

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(Photo credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — House Republicans are proposing to let some schools opt out of healthier school lunch and breakfast programs if they are losing money.

A GOP spending bill for agriculture and food programs released Monday would allow schools to apply for waivers if they are losing money on school lunch programs for six months in a row.

Officials with the Los Angeles Unified school district have seen mixed results since the launch of a healthier version of the district’s school lunch program, with students reportedly trashing an estimated $18 million in food — or about $100,000 — every day in the nation’s second-largest school district every year, according to LAUSD food services director David Binkle.

Schools in LA Unified serve about 650,00 meals daily, while about 80 percent of students district-wide qualify for free or subsidized meals, according to officials.

But when asked if the school district would consider scrapping the program altogether, Binkle told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO more students are being fed healthier food than ever before.

“Over 100,000 more children are eating breakfast on a daily basis since the Board and the Superintendent have adopted this program a couple of years back,” he said.

Championed by first lady Michelle Obama, the new standards have been phased in over the last two school years, with more changes coming in 2014. The rules set fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on foods in the lunch line and beyond.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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