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Reply #28: This policy was implemented only after [View All]

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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-27-09 01:21 AM
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28. This policy was implemented only after
the unpaid bills mounted to $140,000 - with the expectation that they will reach $300,000 this year. Elementary school kids are given the regular lunch for two weeks (and some have been getting them for free a lot longer), before being switched to the equivalent of a sack lunch.

$300,000 would pay for 2-4 teachers, depending on where they are on the salary scale and the cost of benefits in the district. It is unconscionable for a struggling school to lay off teachers for lack of money when there are federal funds available to pay for the lunch program if they can motivate those who can afford to pay to do so, and those who can't to apply for the free or reduced price lunches.

I have no problem with making exceptions for individual students who fall through the cracks - or providing an equivalent alternate lunch for lactose intolerant individuals - but any school that finds itself in this situation has a responsibility to all of it students to find a way to stop the flood of money going to pay for programs for which there is federal money available.

The school had not made progress until they implemented this policy - and they have already collected $40,000.

As for being made to stand out - when my daughter ate school lunches she had special meals 4 days a week because she is allergic to poultry - and poultry is currently a staple of school lunches. The meals generally consisted of peanut butter crackers (those sugar/fat filled snacks with virtually no nutritional value). When she got tired of it, she started packing her own lunches. Other students had the crackers for other reasons (including not being able to afford/forgetting their lunch money). I have asked her since these threads first started appearing whether it bothered her personally and how other students reacted - according to her, no one paid any particular attention to who got crackers and who got regular meals.
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