No free lunch? Try Castro Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Mountain View Voice Online, on Jul 18, 2008 at 9:40 am
A few local mothers beat the crowd and sit with their snacking toddlers on picnic benches at Castro Elementary School. Soon, as summer school classes let out for the day, the gym is hit with "controlled chaos" as nearly 350 kids queue up to grab apples, milk and pizza slices before taking over the tables.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 18, 2008, 12:00 AM
Posted by Liz, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2008 at 9:40 am
There is still no free lunch, unless you are here illegally.
Beside, ccorn dogs and cheese pizzas and chocolate milk? Why not just contribute more to childhood obesity and diabites?
The Castro area is a slum, although some may claim is it over flowing with "diversity". The district is more in the business of attracting warm bodies so it can charge the state for the poor quality of education it provides.
Posted by Ned, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2008 at 5:59 pm
"Unlike during the academic year, over the summer students do not need to provide paperwork or proof of their parents' income to receive free lunches."
Translated, no use holding any one accountable for taxpayers' money. It's like what goes on at the MV Senior Center, a bunch of elderly Asians pull up in their Mercedes Benzes for the free grocery bags of food. No need to prove you actually qualify for handouts.
Posted by Enough!, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2008 at 9:12 am
First, buzzkill is urban slang and used incorrectly here. Urban slang is most often reverted to by people who are incapable of logical thought.
On topic, however, this is an old scam and a moral hazard. The district makes money off each lunch it provides for free, since the Federal reimbursement rate is higher than the cost of the program. Then, during the school year, the district doesn't hold parents accountable for paperwork proving low-income qualification.
Past Voice articles will show that the district loses money during the school year on free lunches and breakfasts. And it's a shame that the Voice constantly struggles with providing real jouranlistic endeavor when it covers a story such as this. Hint: there are many sides to a story, beyond the superficial and visual realm, or that which the school district shoves down your throat. But wait... this article's overly simplistic approach was designed to appeal purely to the emotions of readers with, say, a fifth grade education at best... but that would comprise at least 50% of the Mountain View's population.
If you want more of a scam, look into the company, Sodexho, that is contracted to provide food service to the school district. It's that same Fortune 500 multinational company that provides junk food to schools and prisons across the country and in the UK. And don't think for a minute that this company is not in it for anything beyond a PROFIT at the expense of children's health.
Solutions: Get some real leadership in the school district and school board to clean this mess up. Demand accountability and provide high-quality food during the summer rather than trying to spin a profit. During the school year do the same. Hire a non-profit company to provide food service. Lastly, demand better reporting from your local paper. As of now, it's struggling to keep up with a high school paper.
Posted by Ellen, a resident of the Sylvan Park neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2008 at 11:14 am
Enough!: Why call for accountability when the school district it happy as long as someone else is paying the bill, meaning the federal government and US taxpayers. This is why every program from social security to medicare is in grave jeopardy.
Posted by Ted, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2008 at 12:53 pm
I fail to understand why the district can't keep good records and keep track of who qualifies for a free lunch during the school year and who is not paying. And then to completely blow off accountability during the summer??? If they can't do this basic principle of management and accounting than I cringe to think of how they manage and account for every other action that is undertaken, namely providng quality instruction to students. This must be why Mt. View schools perform poorly when stacked up against other schools in the area.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm
The real point here is that good money is being wasted on junk food and that low-income parents are too dumb or lazy or both to recognize it. The NYT came out with an article several years ago about malmutrition in low-income areas. Low-income residents would rather shop at a convenience store, like 7-11, than walk a little to a real store where they can save money and get better food. There are two 7-11s wihin a block of Castro and they are full of the same people that are lining up for free food.
Posted by resident, a resident of another community, on Jul 24, 2008 at 7:05 pm
Notice that it said the district qualified for this "federal program." Meaning different pot of money than for regular school year lunches, or for anything else. My guess is they either use it on summer school lunches, or they don't get it. Has nothing to do with how they manage their budget, this money wouldn't be available to them if they did not use it for summer lunches. And, since it's federal money, you can bet they are administering it exactly as the feds require--that money always comes with long strings and strict instructions. Also--even if none of the famiilies in MV were illegal, there would still be kids needing free lunch--we'd just have "legals" working the minimum-wage and lower jobs, and it would btheir kids who were hungry. The poor kids would still be among us, still needing food. Get off the xenophobia, already.
Posted by Enough!, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2008 at 7:15 pm
It's morons like you and that different pot of money arguement that is sinking this economy and ruining this country. Last time I checked, I'm writing a tax check to the federal government. I don't like to see it wasted by lazy bureaucrats at a public schools district. Either way it does not excuse the district of keeping good paperwork, translated as accouontability. Besides, the school district makes money off this program, don't think they don't Better to send the money back to the Federal government.
Posted by eric, a resident of another community, on Jul 24, 2008 at 10:47 pm
So, Enough, your argument focuses on the fact that the districts service provider is a for-profit company-- show us the NFP operator that will provide the service at comparable cost. Also, you claim that the district profits over the program. Prove it.
Posted by Enough!, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2008 at 9:28 am
Sorry, eric, it's insider information. I don't want to jeopardize my source. But you can research it on line apparently. Lord knows you seem to have plenty of time on your hands. I certainly hope you are not a public employee doing this from work.
Posted by eric, a resident of another community, on Jul 25, 2008 at 10:47 am
Enough, most public employees (I'm not one) dont clock in at midmight when I made that post (Im making this one from my balckberry while waiting for someone to show up for a meeting, if you're that concerned about my free time). If your going to make a charge, you should be willing to back it up. If its online as you say, enlighted us and point us in the right direction.
Liz, relax. You'll enjoy life more. Whats wrongt with questioning a statement presented as fact without backup?