Wasting food at school~vent

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by daughtersrus, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. daughtersrus

    daughtersrus DIS Veteran

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    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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  3. Pigeon

    Pigeon DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  4. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

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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.
     
  5. daughtersrus

    daughtersrus DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  6. minniebride

    minniebride DIS Veteran

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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?? :confused3
     
  7. daughtersrus

    daughtersrus DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  8. EveDallas

    EveDallas Pure BS

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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.
     
  9. SweetJoy

    SweetJoy Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  10. pat fan

    pat fan DIS Veteran

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    I haven't read everything, but as a lunch lady myself, I have to comment on this.
    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.
     
  11. pat fan

    pat fan DIS Veteran

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    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?
     
  12. luvsJack

    luvsJack DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  13. luvsJack

    luvsJack DIS Veteran

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    I would hope that any household that is eligible for free lunch would have food at home. :confused3
     
  14. Kathi OD

    Kathi OD <marquee><font color=blue>The first person to repl

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    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.

    Now just stop making sense.
     
  15. kacaju

    kacaju DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  16. ebtbmom

    ebtbmom DIS Veteran

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    As a school nurse thank you, thank you, thank you, mother of the year over here!:banana: 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.
     
  17. kacaju

    kacaju DIS Veteran

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    I believe our nurse has all that info
     
  18. EveDallas

    EveDallas Pure BS

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    Honestly, I have no clue if the cafeteria provides carb info or not. I've never been willing to chance it, and he'd rather pack anyway, so I've never looked into it.
     
  19. MomRN

    MomRN DIS Veteran

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    I didn't read all the pages of the thread, but wanted to comment.

    We do not qualify for free/reduced lunch, but if we did I would still try to send my son's lunch. He is on Adderall for ADHD, and is rarely hungry at lunchtime.

    We actually feed him breakfast in the morning (and sometimes seconds) and then he goes and eats breakfast at school again (which we pay $1.50). For his lunch I'll send what most people would consider a snack... cheese and crackers and an apple, maybe a lunchable... something small in case he's hungry. However, 3/5 days a week his lunch comes back exactly the way I packed it. Then, he eats dinner about an hour after school and a bedtime snack.

    He's also extremely picky. There is no way he would eat 75% of what's served for lunch.
     
  20. Pollyanna Poppins

    Pollyanna Poppins DIS Veteran

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    Of course it doesn't make sense because it's a government run program. Just look at what a great job they've done in all the other areas they manage. Just wait till all the healthcare regulations kick in. What I'd like to know is why are kids allowed to live in homes that don't provide any food for them? Isn't that child neglect? Yet over and over we hear that's the only meal these children will eat for the day. Most of these who get the free lunch also get food stamps. School lunches are really a double charge to tax payers. Why is it my mother was able to get up and pack lunches for all of us in the morning? I continued this tradition for my own children until we pulled them out of the prison system disguised as a public school. You'll never solve this problem until you get the big dogs out of the picture and restore schools to a local level. Governments waste that's what they do best.
     
  21. kacaju

    kacaju DIS Veteran

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    awww...reminds me of a boy last year in school. He was buying lunch everyday and all of a sudden I noticed he would just come in for snack. I asked him if he was now bringing lunch from home. He waited until all the kids left and then came in to tell me he was put on medicine for ADHD and he was not hungry when he was called in for lunch. BUT..by the time everyone else was eating and we were calling snack...he got hungry. So we told him he was allowed to come in anytime for lunch..we'd rather see him eat lunch at snack time, then to just have a bag of chips.
    He is doing better this year and is now eating lunch again...part of it I am sure it is because he has the last lunch...next year he will have first lunch so I will have to watch him next year.
     

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