Even as another lunch lady chapter was running in our Sunday News, we carried an interesting letter to the editor about school lunch.
Epsom resident Diane McCarthy believes the system has been turned on its head in recent times.
“The use of catering companies has gotten completely out of control,” she writes. “When schools used government surplus food programs, children were given nutritious hot meals every day with no problems. Because the food was supplied by the government, it was free. The only cost ... was the preparation and small amounts of supplements to prepare it.”
Private companies, she says, cut corners to increase their profits. “Eight dollars for a school lunch is insane!” she adds.
Well, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
The taxpayer pays for surplus food. The taxpayer pays for the lunch serving, whether by school district employees or private firms.
But McCarthy makes a point about the menu. “No child should be given a different lunch. Make one wholesome dinner and feed it to 100% of the students. Students don’t need choices at school! It’s not a restaurant. It’s a tool to ensure that students have their nutritional needs met so their brains will develop properly.”
Before we hear from the gluten-free, vegan, and nut-allergy sets, we stipulate that some kids have special dietary needs, which is why the lunchbox should be retained.
But it would be a good idea for school boards, and parents, to take a new look at what is going on in the cafeteria.