Minnesota school criticized for serving 'shameful' school lunch

A Minnesota school district is under fire after a photo of a "shameful" lunch goes viral. (Photo: Facebook)

A Minnesota school district’s lunch has gone viral after a disappointed student shared the "sad excuse for a meal," and now officials are facing backlash for their "condescending" apology.

On Friday, Maryn Holler, a student at Apollo High School in St. Cloud, Minn., shared a photo of her school lunch, which included a handful of baby carrots, a hot dog bun with only melted cheese, and a cup of marinara sauce, which left her feeling sad for her fellow students who may be struggling.

"I thank God everyday that my family has the money where i get to go home and eat actual food," Holler wrote. "There are kids at this school who this is ALL THEY GET TO EAT, and we were given a hotdog bun with cheese."

Holler added that the meal cost her around three dollars.

The post, which has been shared over 900 times, sparked outrage. Social media users agreed that the district, as well as the district's nutritionist, should do better.

“If your school ‘nutritionist’ didn’t notice this and who knows what else on the menu, I’m not sure I’d have much faith in their judgment going forward,” one person commented. “The students at your school deserve so much better.”

Another questioned: "Truly disturbing. I am curious to what nutrition value this meal has. How does it nurture a child trying to learn."

One person wrote: "The district nutritionist needs to apologize to the students and she/he must be removed from that position by the school board administration. No explanation will satisfy the obviously neglectful behavior of this person."

Another simply described the meal as "shameful."

In response to the backlash, the St. Cloud Area School District, which did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment, released a statement on their Facebook page.

"Oops! We goofed," the post read. “Tried a new menu item today at lunch and we hear it was not a winner! Going forward, we will gather input from our students on new menu options. Thanks for the feedback!"

While some parents and social media users appreciated the school district acknowledging their mistake, others thought the response missed the mark.

“The ‘Oops we goofed’ response is condescending and ridiculous,” a commenter wrote. “No sensible person could have looked at that and thought that a ‘new’ menu item. At least be honest at what it was.”

Another added: "This 'new menu item' should never have been a thing. And you blow it off as a small mistake."

Other students at the district also suggested that this was not a "new menu item," and shared a similar photo that dates back to 2013.

Holler updated her post saying that after meeting with her school principal, she will meet with the district's nutritionist.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which went into effect in 2012 and was championed by Michelle Obama, required public schools to serve students more whole grains, lower sodium levels, and more fruits and vegetables.

In February, the USDA lowered nutritional standards for schools, allowing more leeway, including adding more milk options, such as sugary, flavored milk; lowering the requirements of weekly whole grain-rich foods by half; and providing schools more time to hit goals set during the Obama administration to reduce sodium in school meals.

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