National School Lunch Program in Tennessee Has A Few Bugs to Work Out…Literally

Parents with children in the Monroe County School System are reportedly revolting against the government-funded National School Lunch Program after their kids found what were either maggots or mites in their cafeteria food.

Last month, according to, seventh-graders at Madisonville Public School found what they initially thought were maggots in the granola sold at their cafeteria.

Another report said the students found mites instead.

Chattanooga’s News Channel 9 reported school officials investigated and found no more bugs.

Those same school officials apologized in a Facebook post and assured parents this would never happen again. In that same Facebook post, they said the school cafeteria received a score of 97 on its most recent health inspection.

But a few days later, according to published reports, the insects made an encore performance.

This time, Knoxville TV affiliate WBIR said a student found a bug in his school-provided breakfast. The student reportedly captured it on video.

Parents were so upset they took the matter up at the next school board meeting, according to Reason. One parent told News Channel 9 she would pack her daughter’s lunch from now on instead of having her eat cafeteria food.

Monroe County Director of Schools Tim Blankenship said in a statement to the station that health inspectors returned to the school and found no insects.

No one at the Monroe County School System returned The Tennessee Star’s repeated requests for comment over the past several weeks.

In his Reason article on what happened, food lawyer and adjunct law professor Baylen Linnekin said many parents and kids nationwide are fleeing the National School Lunch Program.

The USDA School Lunch Program, Linnekin wrote, served 258 million fewer lunches in 2014 than it did at its high point, in 2010.

“The number of students paying full price for school lunches today—now 8.8 million— is at its lowest point in recorded history,” Linnekin said.

“That’s a drop of more than 50 percent in full-price lunch sales since 1970.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]







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