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Which Is Healthier Prison Or School Food?

Courtesy of Mario Tama, Getty Images

Elementary school lunches in the U.S. are supposed to include all the basic food groups, and last year Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which is supposed to make school lunches more nutritious.

As a Parent that goes to that “Eat with your kid ” thing I can tell you they aren’t great.  Less than one-third of schools meet the recommended maximum for saturated fat in their meals.

 Also fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King test their ground beef five to ten times more often than the USDA tests beef sent to public schools.

 So “Good Magazine” compared the average school lunch to the average meal served in U.S. PRISONS, and the results might surprise you or not.

 Fact #1.)  They Both Have About the Same Number of Calories.  The average prison meal has between 1,300 and 1,450.  The average school lunch has about 1,400.

 Fact #2.)  They Cost About the Same to Make.  The average cost of feeding a prisoner is $2.62 per day, compared to $2.68 for the average student.

 But the government spends about $11 billion a year on the school lunch program, compared to $205 million for prison food . . . because even though prisons are overcrowded, there are still a lot more kids than prisoners.

 Fact #3.)  Both Meals Have One Bread Item, One Starch Item, and One Drink.  But kids get about an ounce less meat, and prisoners usually get more fruit and vegetables.

 So basically, prison food is SLIGHTLY healthier than school lunches are, but they’re basically the same.  In fact, a lot of schools and prisons get their food from the same distributors.  Aramark is one of the biggest companies that provides food to both.

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