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Smaller school lunches? Plan makes no sense

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After the first day of school, my son advised me that they had “jacked up the prices” on school lunches and made the portions smaller. His immediate answer was to try buying two lunches, but apparently there was a higher price penalty imposed for the second lunch. So now he “brown-bags it.” We are much happier as a result — he gets quality food that he actually likes, is full enough after lunch to get through the school day and after school football practice effectively, and the overall cost to our family is lower than it was with school lunches.

Now, I am no expert. I have no empirical data to back up my position. However, I do not believe that excessive school lunch consumption was ever a factor contributing to childhood obesity issues in America. I cannot recall anyone ever claiming that school lunches caused their fatness, or any of my children’s pediatricians recommending a cutback on school lunches as a recipe to enhanced thinness.

In fact, the current “skim milk and whole wheat tofu” lunch strategy appears contrary to the other goal of our school systems, namely enhancing and improving our children’s academic performance. Whoever decided we should improve our children’s academic performance by denying them food? What is the logic there? Maybe if kids are hungry enough they’ll do better in math? Someone was out to lunch on this one.

What about the legitimate concern that for many kids, school breakfast or lunch is the only substantial meal they will get all day? Hey, I’ve got a brilliant idea. Let’s make meals for those kids smaller and charge more for them.

I heard someone from Washington brag that, “The days of a big ladle of gravy on a heap of mashed potatoes are gone.” I say bring back the taters n’ gravy, and reduce the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of Washington bureaucrats. Leave my kid’s school lunches alone. Because until they do, my son will brown- bag it.

I know our local school districts didn’t develop these new stands and are trying to do the best they can on tight budgets, but two chicken nuggets and a carrot just ain’t gonna cut it.

Dick Monroe

Watertown

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