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The Big Mac may be a more enticing prospect for lunch, but students who choose the burger over the less glamourous lunch provided by a school cafeteria will end up paying substantially more, according to an informal survey conducted by the Agriculture Department.

Moreover, even the brownbaggers may not be saving money, the survey found. In Fairfax County, Va., for example, a lunch that consisted of a turkey sandwich on a role, car-rot and celery sticks, fresh fruit, and milk costs 75 cents for elementary-school students, and 85 cents for high-school students. The same lunch would cost $1.05 if brought from home. Even the basic peanut-butter-and-jelly lunch, accompanied by raisins, fresh fruit, and milk, costs more if it came from home: 94 cents.

At least some districts can offer similar lunches, while topping fast-food prices, too. In Marietta, Ga., for example, a high-school student can buy a quarter-pound hamburger, french fries, lettuce and tomato or fresh fruit, and a milk shake, for one dollar. The same meal would cost about $2.45 if purchased at the local fast-food restaurant.

Money may not be the only reason to buy lunch at school, according to another survey by the department. The study, which surveyed about 7,000 families nationwide, found that students who participate in the school-lunch program get higher percentages of their daily nutritional needs than those who do not. School-lunch participants, the survey showed, eat food that contains more of three important nutrients: protein, calcium, and phosphorous. "Students who eat school lunches get more of these nutrients with less caloric intake than students who eat other lunches," according to a departmental summary of the survey. "To get the same amoung of these nutrients as school-lunch participants, nonparticipants have to eat more calories."

A 20-year-old college student who said that his religious convictions did not allow him to register for the draft was convicted last week of draft-registration evasion in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, Va. He thus becomes the first person convicted under the mandatory draft-registration law enacted by former President Carter in the summer of 1980.

Enten Eller, a soft-spoken honors physics major at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va., was placed on probation for three years and was warned by U.S. District Judge James C. Turk that he could receive the maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 if he failed to register within three months as ordered.

Currently, two other young men face similar trials on charges of failure to register for the draft. Federal officials have said in the past that the conviction of a handful of draft-registration evaders would probably prod the majority of the estimated 700,000 non-registrants nationwide to sign up.

In another move designed to shore up draft-registration rolls, the House and the Senate last week moved closer to an agreement on a bill that would prevent young men who refuse to register from receiving federal grants and loans for college.

The ban on federal financial aid for draft-registration evaders was contained in both the House and Senate versions of the 1983 Department of the Defense authorization bill, S2248.

A House-Senate conference committee completed work on the bill early last week, and it now goes back to both houses of Congress for final approval.

Vol. 01, Issue 41

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