MDE responding to complaints about school lunch periods being too short

In response to a "flood of complaints" from parents and school districts, the State Department of Education (MDE) is issuing recommendations to address the problem of students not having enough time to eat their lunch.

MDE is pointing at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) new requirement for healthier school lunches as the reason for the concern. Last year, the USDA changed lunch and breakfast meal patterns to include healthier options, like salads and fresh fruit, which MDE says takes students longer to eat. 

As a result, students are eating "fast food" like French fries so they can finish lunch in the time allotted. And what doesn't get eaten, gets thrown away.

Six states set policy on how much time students have to eat lunch. Michigan is not one of them. In the meantime, MDE is recommending changes such as having recess before lunch at elementary levels to give students more time.