It turns out school lunch—soggy, cardboard pizzas with a side of half-thawed tater tots—is an expensive issue. According to an October School Nutrition Association report, “three quarters of school nutrition directors surveyed indicated that the National School Lunch Program Reimbursement was not sufficient to cover the costs of producing a meal.”
On October 21, the San Francisco Chronicle depicted a heart-wrenching anecdote of de-funded local lunchrooms. Due to what the California Department of Education Nutrition Services Division deemed “egregious” lack of compliance, the school district “has had to pony up the $1.5 million monthly cost of the lunch program for low-income students.” Federal violations included the failure to post the requisite “anti-discrimination poster in every cafeteria reading ‘And Justice for All’” and failing to “offer milk with various levels of fat content as required.” Also, according to the Chronicle, children must serve themselves at least three items of food, but “Inspectors said at some San Francisco schools it went unnoticed when children took only one or two food items.” The rules also dictate that “School staff cannot hand children—even the youngest ones—a tray of food.”
Perhaps the School Lunch Program board should focus their time and attention on debilitating solvency issues rather than on trivial infractions of fastidious rules.
*Blog entries by interns reflect their personal opinions only and not that of Accuracy and Academia.