That's a school discipline issue which is based on someone's weird control issues, not something inherent in health food policies. Like, who is actually forcing kids to take an apple? Are schools being run by fascist health food mafias, that kids can't say "no thank you"? It is just such a bizarre policy.
And how is it possible to force a high schooler to take an apple? Has anyone been expelled for not taking an apple? Hit? Screamed at? What's the enforcement if you don't take the apple? They can't get their free lunch unless they take an apple? Lowered grades? Kicked out of honor society? How is it not possible to say "no thank you, and I'm going to eat lunch now"?
Is this something you observed or is it something you read about that happened locally?
This is what literally happened at the school I work at a few years ago when laws were changed requiring healthy lunches. I saw it happening during lunch duties I had and asked WTH? I was informed of the reasons/legality then by a head honcho who was also shaking his head about the requirements at the time. It seems that enough folks complained to state (federal? I've no idea what level it was at, but it was more than our school) head honchos to get that part of the law changed or to slack off on it or something because it's no longer happening (that I've seen) this year. I can't recall if it was changed by last year or not. This year and last year I've worked considerably less due to family issues. My youngest graduated 4 years ago so I can't ask for his inside information.
How does one get a kid to do it? They're in the lunch line (whichever one they chose as we have 4 different options) and the lady looking over their tray and assessing how much to charge their ID notices it's missing and tells them to go back and get one. They can't check out until they do. Some protested at first, the law was explained, and then they realized it had to be done and adjusted accordingly. Some kids (like my youngest lad) would gather unwanted fruit from those around him. Our ponies and chickens enjoyed some of it. But he only ate during one of four lunch periods we have and he's only sitting at one table. Not every table had a collector for unwanted things. The box one of our teachers put out worked for some time until it was deemed "not ok."
I agree totally that the law was messed up. Many people did. I like that now things are offered, but not required. At least I think that's the case. I'll be back at work all next week and can check on it to be sure things have changed.