HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Students in the Harlan County school system say the school food that follows federal nutritional guidelines tastes bad and portions are too small.
Now school leaders are trying to make changes.
Harlan County school food service coordinators say every meal served in school this year meets new federal nutritional guidelines.
"I've ate lunch at school all my life and this year is really different, all these guidelines and stuff," said Samuel Meade, a high school senior.
Some students say it tastes bad.
"I bring my lunch to school because I'm not going to eat here. It's that bad," said Sierra Hatfield, junior.
"We have to eat the same things over and over and it's things we don't like," said Meade.
Food Service workers say the bread is whole wheat, milk is fat free, and meat is limited to one serving.
"We don't get enough either, so we don't get full," said Meade.
"I'm a big fellow. I eat a lot of food, so I try to steal food from other kids," said William Banks, senior.
School officials put together a student committee to help make changes. They cannot change the nutritional guidelines but can change the menu.
"Now that we have the menus certified we can actually go in and change our menus as long as we meet the guidelines and that's what we're doing," said Jack Miniard, Harlan County School Food Service Director.
The student committee and school officials are going to a food show next week. They can taste test items and determine what they like and do not like.
"Things that we want implemented, we're going to implement them. Look at things like spice cooking," said Miniard.
"There is hope for our food service center, so I reckon we'll get it," said Banks.
Students hope to implement the changes soon.
Some schools around the country are dropping out of the healthier, new federal lunch program. Harlan County food service directors say doing that is not being discussed. Officials say if they did not use the federal program, then the school district could lose millions of dollars.