While some New Yorkers are fighting for their right to drink sugary beverages, unionized cafeteria workers in a small Western Pennsylvania school district have fought for - and won - their right to eat expired foods.
On Monday, Sharon, Pennsylvania newspaper The Herald reported that members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees filed a grievance against the Sharpsville Area School District over a disagreement as to what cafeteria workers were allowed to eat.
The settlement reached by ASCME and the school district was approved by a unanimous vote of the school board last month. It permits the cafeteria workers to eat the post-prime portions at their own risk, as long as they do not sell or share the items with anyone else and pay for any other items they choose to eat or drink.
While labor unions help hungry employees, the United States Department of Agriculture sees to it hungry students are fed.
In fiscal year 2010, more than 31.7 million children each day got their lunch through the National School Lunch Program. Since the modern program began, more than 219 billion lunches have been served according to the USDA which oversees the program.
In January, the USDA issued new standards requiring school cafeterias to offer fruits and vegetables to students every day, and reduce sodium, saturated fat and trans fat content. Schools must also offer more whole grains as well as fat-free or low-fat milk varieties.
According to the USDA, these standards go into effect July 1 and will be phased in over a three-year period.
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