WASHINGTON - The Agriculture Department says 524 schools - out of about 100,000 - have dropped out of the federally subsidized national school lunch program since the government introduced new standards for healthier foods last year.
The new standards have been met with some grumbling from school nutrition officials who say they are difficult and expensive to follow and conservatives who say the government shouldn't be dictating what kids eat.
Children have complained that the less-greasy food doesn't taste as good. But USDA says the vast majority of schools are serving healthier food. USDA said about a half-percent of schools dropped out of the program.
Data the department is releasing Monday also shows that 80 percent of schools say they have already met the requirements.