Plum students take to Twitter to protest lunch prices, choices

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Students in the Plum Borough School District upset with the increased price of school lunches have taken to Twitter to protest the price and quality of lunches at the high school.

Using the hashtag #BrownBagginIt, which was trending in the Pittsburgh area on Twitter today, students pledged to bring lunches from home instead of paying $2.50 for school lunch. Some took issue with the federal guidelines that require schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free and low-fat milk while curbing sodium, saturated fat and trans fats in foods.

Others tweeted that the increased price also came with smaller portions.

A boy using the Twitter handle @TornadoBoyTubbs tweeted, "everyone.. if you agree school lunches are expensive and small, RT this. we can fight the school! tweet #BrownBagginIt."

Another boy using the Twitter handle @matthews1_will tweeted, "everybody in plum who is in elementary to high school start #BrownBagginit to protest against the district high prices and low quality food."

Food service director Maryann Lazzaro said Plum is doing the same thing districts all over the country are doing in following the federal rules.

"If you're working with 650 calories for a meal, and 140 comes from a milk and 70 comes from fruit because fruit is now mandated ... you've only got a small amount left for the protein the bread and the vegetable," Ms. Lazzaro said.

Pittsburgh radio hosts Mikey and Big Bob of the 96.1 Kiss Morning Freak Show also jumped in to the Twitter conversation.

Mikey, @fsmikey on Twitter and Michael Dougherty in real life, tweeted Tuesday night: "To all the kids #BrownBagginIt tomorrow at Plum, hope it pays off in the form of top notch tacos at school lunch for you all #ThisIsMyWish."

A lunch menu on the district's website said the high school cafeteria served Mexican pizza and nacho chips with cheese and refried beans today. The menu for for Thursday is a "McRib" sandwich, sweet potato tots and "California blend" veggies.

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Annie Siebert: asiebert@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1613 and on Twitter @AnnieSiebert.


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