Tag: school lunch programs

Raw Onions Served As Snack in D.C. Schools

Fifty-three elementary schools in the District of Columbia take part in the federal government’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, a recently ramped-up federal initiative that dishes out millions to local schools to get them to use raw produce as snacks. According to the Washington Examiner, it was by inadvertence that students at Turner Elementary School were given raw green onions (scallions) as a snack the other day when they were supposed to be given zucchini slices instead. Children were observed making “yuck” faces before throwing the offerings in the trash or, in some cases, resourcefully tucking them into their bags to take home for their parents to cook.

Are we sure this is the best way to keep students from sneaking Doritos into the building?

On a less tear-inducing note, the school board in the town of Darien, Conn. has unanimously voted to pull out of the federal school lunch program. Finance director Richard Huot cited current and forthcoming federal mandates that, among other things, ban chocolate milk, discourage reliance on refillable sports water bottles, and require schools to push salads in preference to longtime favorites such as fruit. The regulations also drive up labor costs, Huot said, and make the lunch program more complex to run generally. “The children in this town are savvy consumers,” Huot said. “You put a lousy product on the table; they are not going to buy it.”

As a famously affluent suburb, Darien can afford to turn down the bribes — sorry, subsidies — that come with doing it Washington’s way. Isn’t it a shame so many other communities feel they have no real financial choice but to go along?

Your Government At Work

Here’s yet another example of government programs that are total nonsense, collectively, if not individually.

First, news that a Federal panel of experts has issued a new report on what you should be eating.

[The report’s] findings: People should consume more vegetables and whole grains, and less fatty meats, salt and sugar…The guidelines in turn will form the basis of the USDA’s updated food pyramid, scheduled to be released in spring 2011. They also determine the nutrition standards for all federal nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program, which feeds more than 30 million children a day.[emphasis mine]

I’ve emphasized the “less fatty meats” part because that news comes hot on the heals of this article that hit the wires yesterday:

The U.S. Agriculture Department plans to buy as much as $14 million worth of dark meat chicken products to help producers facing a glut in stocks and decreasing prices, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Tuesday…The government purchase… will be used by food banks, school lunch programs, and other food assistance programs….

So let’s get this straight: the Federal government is on the one hand encouraging people to eat fewer fatty meats, but on the other is buying more of said fatty meats to appease a special interest.  And they can’t even use “inter-agency coordination problems” as an excuse.