'We Are Hungry:' Students protest school lunch guidelines in YouTube video

First came the boycott, then came the video.

Students and teachers from a high school in Kansas have created a YouTube video parody protesting the recent lunch restrictions placed on high school menus, USA Today reported.  The video – titled ‘We Are Hungry’ – comes just a week after students from a Wisconsin high school boycotted their school lunch over the changes.

The video is a parody of ‘We Are Young’ by the band Fun, and the chorus includes such lyrics as, “Tonight, we are hungry.  Set the policy on fire.  It can burn brighter than the sun.”

The parody is in response to the new federal guidelines funded by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, dictating what is served in school cafeterias during lunch hour.  The legislation was promoted by Michelle Obama, and is designed to improve nutrition standards for food served in schools. Some of the changes include age-aligned calorie restrictions of up to 850 calories, serving more whole grains and less sugar, and only allowing low- or non-fat milk.

The student video-makers, who attend Wallace County High School, say the portion sizes of their meals have significantly decreased.  Callahan Grund, a 16-year-old football player featured in the video, told USA Today that they’ve cut the number of chicken nuggets in half, and the size of pork cutlets are much smaller than last year.

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Even the teachers at WCHS have jumped on the bandwagon.  Brenda Kirkham, an arts and publications teacher, came up with the idea for the video, while Linda O’Connor, an English teacher, wrote the lyrics for the song, according to USA Today.  One of their main concerns was the decrease in protein during lunches.  The new rules now set a daily minimum and weekly maximum meat or meat alternate limit – meaning high school students must receive at least two ounces of protein each day, but they can’t have more than 12 ounces each week, USA Today said.

Kirkham, who told USA Today she is starving at lunch time, said she just wanted to help the students express their feelings in a constructive way.

"We wanted to give kids a voice and make fun of something that's very frustrating for us -- but not be over-the-top angry,” Kirkham told USA Today.

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