Friday, June 08, 2007

The Coyote School Lunch Program

One youngster in Salem, Massachusetts, (yes, that Salem) gave his opinion about his school's food in no uncertain terms when he said that he would rather "eat his arm" than chow-down on what was being served:
The only certainty about the school lunch program is that almost nobody prefers Preferred Meals, a pilot program at three city schools.

Nearly 60 percent of students dislike the taste of the prepackaged meals provided by Preferred Meal Systems of Illinois, according to a survey of 514 students at Horace Mann and Bates elementary schools and Nathaniel Bowditch School, a K-8 facility. Eleven percent said they like the taste.

"I would rather eat my arm," one student wrote, according to the survey results presented to the School Committee last night.

"I can't get the boxes open," another student said. "I dislike most of the food. Yucky!"

The faculty and staff weren't much kinder. More than 60 percent disliked the taste.

"I think the food is disgusting," one staff member wrote.

After hearing the results, there didn't seem to be much doubt that the School Committee will be dumping Preferred Meals, which provided frozen meals that were heated at the schools. However, no vote was taken last night.

Whatever the fate of the pilot program, serious issues remain for a school breakfast and lunch program that has incurred repeated deficits and for elected officials who have refused to raise the $1.50 price of a lunch, one of the lowest in the state.
It's when I read stories like these that I fondly remember my own primary school's food way back in the early '70s.

When school cafeterias actually cooked what was to be eaten...

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