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Old 12-06-2012, 10:09 AM   #61
daughtersrus
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Originally Posted by The Mystery Machine View Post
I am going to stop repeating myself here.

The easiest solution is to have a kid pay for the milk or have a milk program if you do not want to waste food. They used to do that bak in my day. You brought your lunch and bought milk.

As it stands now the child has to take the whole tray for the "hot lunch" to get the milk. If they choose to throw away food, so be it. I don't like the "waste" either however I don't see how to "win" this.

What you're not thinking about is that it may not be easy for the family to afford the cost of the milk. Remember, they're qualifying for free lunch based on income.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:10 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by The Mystery Machine View Post
I am going to stop repeating myself here.

The easiest solution is to have a kid pay for the milk or have a milk program if you do not want to waste food. They used to do that bak in my day. You brought your lunch and bought milk.

As it stands now the child has to take the whole tray for the "hot lunch" to get the milk. If they choose to throw away food, so be it. I don't like the "waste" either however I don't see how to "win" this.
While that might be the "easiest" solution, it doesn't address the issue that some kids might not be able to afford the milk, which is the point of free/reduced food in the first place.

Solving the problem would involve changing the way the law is written, which is what should be done. Not easy, but not impossible either, if legislators were educated about what really goes on in school cafeterias.

As for the alleged impossibility of the cafeteria having to deal with kids not buying the entire lunch (should the law get changed), that's nonsense. The cafeteria management already has to predict how many kids will buy v. bring on any given day, and which entree choices they will make. They do that with some degree of accuracy based on historical information. They'd do exactly the same thing.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:13 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by daughtersrus View Post
Why won't it work? If a child is just getting a milk, it has nothing to do with what is or isn't taken out of the freezer.

When the child goes through the line to get only a milk, the cashier rings it up as free and the child pays nothing.

Are you saying that the cafeteria plans a meal for every child that is free/reduced and assumes that they will be getting it and not bringing one from home or that they are not absent that day?

Our schools also have the choice between two entrees. So are you saying that the kitchen staff thaws one of each for each student that qualifies for free/reduced lunch not knowing which one the student will choose?



And if they can't afford it, the child goes without?
You do counts of waste for the day and then you get a feel for how many you need to make. Sometimes you are great on your counts and sometimes the flu is going around and your waste counts are high.

When their are field trips, parties, that day you know your counts are going to be off so you guess based on similiar days.

If you gave the choice for milk or hot lunch each day then you would have either high waste counts or run out of "hot lunch".

And to the bolded "if they can't afford it, they go without" statement is why you have to give them the hot lunch to throw away.

Something has to give here and I do not know what it should be.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:32 AM   #64
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You do counts of waste for the day and then you get a feel for how many you need to make. Sometimes you are great on your counts and sometimes the flu is going around and your waste counts are high.

When their are field trips, parties, that day you know your counts are going to be off so you guess based on similiar days.

If you gave the choice for milk or hot lunch each day then you would have either high waste counts or run out of "hot lunch".

And to the bolded "if they can't afford it, they go without" statement is why you have to give them the hot lunch to throw away.

Something has to give here and I do not know what it should be.
This still doesn't make sense. How do you predict which entree the children will choose? I just looked our school menu up online and there are 3 to choose from each day at an elementary level. For example, today option #1 popcorn chicken with mac and cheese. Option #2 is Julieene salad with homemade croutons and Option # 3 is yogurt lunch. All three options come with fresh celery with dip and steamed corn.

Regardless, what does any of this have to do with milk that is sitting in a cooler/refrigerator? Nothing. Either way the child is getting a milk. The only difference is that he/she has to pay for it.


The statement that is bolded (my doing) makes no sense. It's crazy to say that the solution is to tell these children to throw the food out. A better solution would be to change the system and allow the children to have a healthy milk without paying for it.

It wouldn't cause any extra work on the part of the cafeteria staff and would save a lot of money that is wasted on food that ends up in the trash.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:03 PM   #65
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Maybe this question was answered and I missed the post as I skimmed through the pages of this thread but

Why the heck should a child be eligible for free milk if their parents can afford to pack them a lunch from home????

Isn't free/reduced lunch or breakfast for kids whose families cannot afford to provide them with a lunch?

Am I misunderstanding something in the original post??
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:34 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by minniebride View Post
Maybe this question was answered and I missed the post as I skimmed through the pages of this thread but

Why the heck should a child be eligible for free milk if their parents can afford to pack them a lunch from home????

Isn't free/reduced lunch or breakfast for kids whose families cannot afford to provide them with a lunch?

Am I misunderstanding something in the original post??
To qualify for free lunch, income must be at 130% of the Federal Poverty Level. Reduced lunch is at 185%.

There may be days where the child won't or can't eat what is being served. Instead of the child going hungry, the child brings a lunch from home.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:17 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minniebride View Post
Maybe this question was answered and I missed the post as I skimmed through the pages of this thread but

Why the heck should a child be eligible for free milk if their parents can afford to pack them a lunch from home????

Isn't free/reduced lunch or breakfast for kids whose families cannot afford to provide them with a lunch?

Am I misunderstanding something in the original post??
Not necessarily. My son qualifies for reduced lunch. I've never signed up for it - he is automatically qualified because he gets health insurance through the state. I pack his lunch every single day because he is diabetic, and I like to have an accurate carb count for what he eats.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:07 PM   #68
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This is definitely a timely thread - I mentioned upthread that my kindergartener (free/reduced lunch eligible) went in today with lunch from home and a note to have milk at school. This is probably the third or so time we've done this - today a note came home that the milk is only free if it is served with the lunch, if lunch is brought in from home we need to send in .50. No problem, that is much better than throwing food away IMO.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:34 PM   #69
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I haven't read everything, but as a lunch lady myself, I have to comment on this.
Quote:
1. Why would it be thrown away anyway? In elementary school, teachers take a count each morning and give the number of children buying lunch and which choice (there are 2 to choose from) and if any of the children are getting "doubles". That is given to the kitchen staff so they can prepare accordingly.

2. Explain why forcing a full meal is so important if the child already has a lunch and just want milk.
1. Really? Guess how accurate those lunch counts are. Not very. And then you have staff who come at the last minute "Oh, I forgot to sign up, can I eat?". And if you do have left-overs you are not allowed any longer to serve them the next day, so out it goes.

2. Because the govt. says so, that's why. It doesn't make sense, but we HAVE to do what we are told, no questions.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #70
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Why the heck should a child be eligible for free milk if their parents can afford to pack them a lunch from home????

Isn't free/reduced lunch or breakfast for kids whose families cannot afford to provide them with a lunch?

Am I misunderstanding something in the original post??
It goes by income eligibility, just like any other assistance program. You qualify or you don't. Not sure why you are so upset about someone sending in a home lunch just even if they qualify for free/reduced. What if it was your kid and they HATED what was being served that day. Would you make them eat it? Or send left-overs or a pb & j?
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:56 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by The Mystery Machine View Post
That responsibility lies on the student and family, not the school.

You cannot blame the school lunch program for the child throwing away the lunch.

If the child only wants a milk they need to purchase the milk.
No. The child receives free lunch which includes free milk. There is no reason to give a child who only wants milk an entire tray. That makes no sense.

The kid is throwing away the lunch because he HAS a lunch that he brought from home. Why not just give him the milk.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:57 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minniebride View Post
Maybe this question was answered and I missed the post as I skimmed through the pages of this thread but

Why the heck should a child be eligible for free milk if their parents can afford to pack them a lunch from home????

Isn't free/reduced lunch or breakfast for kids whose families cannot afford to provide them with a lunch?

Am I misunderstanding something in the original post??
I would hope that any household that is eligible for free lunch would have food at home.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:04 PM   #73
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My kids are still allowed to choose what they want. I wasn't sure but December's menu came home with it all outlined. Just like before the new regulations a lunch consisted of X amount of components and a child had to take them for it to be considered a lunch. They could just take a few, but would be charged al a carte for those items. Now they have to take 3 out of the 5, and one must be a fruit or veggie, however if they don't want a fruit or veggie they can take whatever they want and be charged al a carte for those items.
At our school there is no al a carte option. Providing an al a carte option would defeat the purpose of the new federal regulations, which is not only to provide for healthier choices, but a balanced meal.

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Really, how about if you are on the free lunch program you are allowed to get just milk free if you bring in from home. Or OTOH, if you are on the free lunch program, and bring your lunch from home you are not allowed to get "free milk" that day, which means you aren't allowed to get free food to throw away either.
If they can regulate how many calories a child gets on their tray through reforn, they can certainly figure out a way to reform the free/reduced lunch program to reduce food and monetary waste. Like I said in my very first post in this thread, its just easier to waste and to complain there isn't enough money, but that doesn't mean that something can't actually be done about it
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That isn't what I said.
Your argument is weak.
There can be reform, period.

No, you can't blame the school for the kid throwing food out. You can blame the way the school lunch program is set up, for the food and money that gets wasted though.
Now just stop making sense.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:30 PM   #74
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As I have said..middle school lunch lady here. We do not *count* lunches each day. I also do not have a full kitchen to work in. We have a steam table and a cold table for salad. So how do we feed our kids? We go by how this menu has gone over in the past and do our best to guess how they are going to eat. Do we get it wrong..yes, sometimes the kids surprise us and eat more then we planned for. In that case we call the central kitchen and they bring over whatever they have made and the kids get whatever we get. It does not happen often..but it has happened.

As far as just getting a milk..as it has been said..it is just not how the government has the program set up. We as cafeteria workers cannot just change it..The Board of Ed. cannot change it.

If your kid pays full price for lunch they can opt to only buy a milk...free reduced kids cannot.

I have to do what I am told to do...I cannot decide to bend the rules for the kids. I do have a few kids who are free lunch and they never buy. If I decided on my own to let them just get a milk, I could end up in trouble and could face losing my job. Not worth it..I am told that the kids need a fruit or veggie on their tray...it goes on there. I cannot force them to eat it..I can only force them to take it.

Do I like it? NO...Do I like telling Junior to take the apple even though he tells me he will throw it away...NO..but I do like my job and would like to keep it.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:52 PM   #75
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Not necessarily. My son qualifies for reduced lunch. I've never signed up for it - he is automatically qualified because he gets health insurance through the state. I pack his lunch every single day because he is diabetic, and I like to have an accurate carb count for what he eats.
As a school nurse thank you, thank you, thank you, mother of the year over here! You would be shocked and amazed at how we have to beg some parents to give us carb counts for either home brought food or the cafeteria food. What you are doing is absolutely the safest thing for your child! Question, does your school cafeteria provide carb info for the food? I've been trying to get ours all year and am having no luck.
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