Concerns bring Riedlinger to Monday's board meeting.

    School lunch isn’t really supposed to be a hot topic, but it is in Crookston and in other school districts throughout the region early on in the 2012-13 school year, as federal guidelines aimed at tackling youth obesity by providing healthier lunches have stirred the pot.

    In the place of a lot of the high-starch, high calorie and high fat foods that would typically be found on a school lunch tray in days gone by are more fruits and vegetables, much of them locally grown. School districts that meet the guidelines by serving the recommended portions receive a higher reimbursement than those who don’t.

    But are the kids eating all the healthier foods? Students in Crookston’s schools have reported that the fruits and vegetables are too ripe or not very fresh, and as a result a lot of food is going uneaten and, therefore, being wasted.

    Then there’s the question, are students getting enough of the food they need to get full and be strong and energetic? At a recent Crookston School Board meeting, board member Robin Brekken reported that he’d been contacted by some parents of Pirate student-athletes, who reported that their kids were starving after school and not performing at their best, on the field or in the classroom.

    The concerns voiced to Brekken spurred Superintendent Chris Bates to summon Food Services Director Ann Riedlinger, who will update the board on the changes to the school lunch program at the board’s meeting at 5 p.m. Monday at the high school.