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State

Some Illinois districts dropping federal lunches

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Some Illinois school districts are part of a nationwide trend of dropping out of the healthier new federal lunch program.

Catlin Community District 5 Superintendent Gary Lewis says some of his students won't eat some of the meals that comply with nutritional guidelines. It resulted in a $30,000 loss for the district.

The $11 billion National School Lunch Program reimburses schools for meals served and gives them access to lower-priced food.

The School Nutrition Association says 1 percent of 521 district nutrition directors surveyed planned to drop out of the program in the upcoming school year. About 3 percent were considering the move.

But districts like Elgin U-46, which have high populations of poor students reliant on the meals, say they can't quit the program.

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