Confusion in Belmont: What’s on the menu at school?
Rudolph, the owner of Brookside Pizza on Route 106, said she has been a longtime supporter of students, teachers and coaches in town, and a regular supplier of pizzas to the Shaker Regional School District.
School Board Chair Heidi Hutchinson said administrators are still in the early stages of enforcing the guidelines. “He could have been providing pizza for everyone in a way which fits the guidelines,” Hutchinson said of Principal Dan Clary.
A recent audit of the school system found that athletic teams were having pizza parties and parents were sending cupcakes to school on their children’s birthdays. In doing so, teachers, coaches and administrators were violating government guidelines that forbid rewarding achievements with food, and breaking the federal healthy food nutritional rules for schools, school officials said.
“We decided we have to get tough with the USDA requirements,” Superintendent Maria Dreyer said the day after the meeting. “We already have these requirements in our wellness policy, so there’s not anything that we’re really doing new here (besides enforcement).”
The move has received mixed reviews from parents and school employees. Some parents objected, saying their children aren’t getting fat because of cupcakes at birthday parties; others said it was government interfering with their family lives.
“This country has a lot of obese children,” she said.
“I know there have been pizza parties after athletic events and school parties for years, but by rewarding with food, you single out a group and that’s unfair,” Dreyer said. “And then you give them food that isn’t nutritious.”
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