More kids eating school lunches due to pilot program 

More students are passing up fast food for healthier, school-provided lunches at Balboa High School due to an ongoing pilot program, the San Francisco Department of Public Health reported Monday.

And it’s not only because kids these days are wising up to the effects of junk food.

Part of the problem with school lunch participation has been that meals offered by the government tended to require low-income students to wait in a designated line in order to receive them, according to the latest report from DPH director Mitch Katz.

Cash-paying students could buy food from a different “a la carte” line, they said.

“This separation resulted in stigma, lack of lunch participation, and resulting hunger for many low-income students,” the report said.

The pilot program at Balboa High allows “students of all incomes…to pick up their lunches in a newly-designed food courts with more options, eliminating segregation, expanding choice and increasing school participation by 70-percent,” the report said.

The approach is also being applied at Francisco Middle School with positive results.

Katz said he wants the format to expand to other San Francisco schools.

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