A letter from school principal Cathy Stover to parents of students at St. Joseph Elementary School in Crescent Springs, Kentucky, announced that frozen treat would be added to the menu in an effort to encourage more students to buy food.
Stover wrote in a letter posted by local news station WXIX-TV in Cincinnati that under 2012 federal nutrition guidelines, fewer elementary students were buying lunches. The lunch program is run by the diocese, so in order to keep it financially afloat the school was introducing the ice cream as an option for kids, according to the letter.
"As the result of the reduction in [sales of] student lunches, it is somewhat difficult at times to make ends meet," read a portion of the posted letter. "It has been suggested to the schools that we add ice cream to make up the difference."
A spokesman for the Covington Diocese in Covington County, Kentucky, confirmed the existence of the letter but refused to comment on the lunch program to ABC News. Stover deferred comment to the spokesman.
The posted letter said the low-fat, low-sugar ice cream conforms to the federal nutrition guidelines.
At least one parent told WXIX that while her daughter didn't eat school lunches, she was apprehensive about the addition of ice cream to the school menu.
"I think it's going to be a popular solution,” Kelly Bowman told WXIX-TV. "I think it's going to be a way to get the kids to buy stuff from the school, but I don't think it's going to be a healthy standard for them."
Calls to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Office for comment were not immediately returned.