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District lost thousands in unpaid lunches

Original post made on May 21, 2008

The Mountain View Whisman School District estimates that it lost close to $20,000 in the 2006-07 school year due to students who did not pay for their $3 lunches.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 9, 2008, 2:42 PM

Comments (14)

Posted by no lunch no learn
a resident of North Whisman
on May 21, 2008 at 7:48 am

The lunches aren't worth 3 dollars. They aren't even worth a dollar. How dare the district threaten to not feed children whose parents haven't paid. You have to be extremely poor to qualify for free lunch. On top of the three dollars for lunch, many parents will also be paying 2 dollars a day for having to put their children on a school bus. If you have more than one child, that is a lot of money every single day.

Posted by Food for thought
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 22, 2008 at 10:47 am

How could these people serve burnt food cold and corn thats still frozen. Just this week my children couldnt eat the pizza because it was burnet. Two week ago my daughter was not feeling well and thought it was because her lunch made her sick. The next day she came home and told me some of her friends from the same lunch line got sick. I"m sure the district is going to find a way to justify serving terible food. Thats the MVWSD way. I'm sure the district will invite us to a meeting or send out a servey. For once take responsibility and fix it. You lost 20,000 the students lost there appetite.

a resident of Jackson Park
on May 22, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Another whining cry baby that wants someone else to pay for their child.

Look you decided to get pregnant, you decided to have that child and now YOU need to feed that child.

Since when is it my responsibility to feed your child?

If you do not like the lunch that is sold, then pack a lunch for YOUR child.

Posted by SchoolWonk
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 22, 2008 at 4:57 pm

My children attended Huff Elementary, which was served by the district's central kitchen. The food was not nutritious or edible in my opinion. Frozen Uncrustables, "Pizza Tartlet" and other processed foods packed with fat and sodium are served to kids each day. The salad bar had canned peaches in syrup, whole oranges which were unpeelable and iceberg lettuce. Most of the food ends up in the trash cans.

If you want healthy kids, pack a lunch for them and forget the lunch system- no matter who pays for it. If everyone would boycott the junk served every day perhaps the district would serve something worth eating!

Posted by Brad
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 23, 2008 at 10:27 am

To "To Lazy Parents" resident of Jackson Park.
Be very carful you may one day be sitting at Jackson Park homeless.
God don't like ugly.

Posted by Angel
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 24, 2008 at 6:41 pm

BOYCOTT !!!!!!!!

Posted by Another parent
a resident of another community
on May 28, 2008 at 1:22 pm

To no lunch no learn: I'm sure the district is not talking about not giving lunch to the kids who qualify for free lunch--they get money from the lunch subsidy for those kids. They are talking about the families who do NOT receive lunch subsidies, and can afford and choose to purchase the lunches. Right now, even if these students have no money in their lunch accounts, they can still get lunch, but are reminded to tell their parents that they owe however many dollars and to please bring the money in. This has happened with my kids; I give them $20 to put in their account, but then we don't track it carefully; so every so often, my daughter will say "I owe the lunch lady $6." (or whatever). We send in the money to cover that, plus some future lunches. Apparently, not every family has been doing that. Next year, I will have to be more careful about tracking the lunch money so I know in advance when I need to send in more money. Totally reasonable, in my opinion.

I agree with many of you that it would be good if the district could encourage Sodexo (the food service provider) to come up with some more-appealing and healthier food choices. I think they have been trying to do this. Believe it or not--the food has improved since my 9th-grader was in 1st grade. It was truly awful then. The food at the middle schools seem somewhat better--at least my kids felt the food was more appealing than at elementary, and they do have some salad shakers & things that don't seem to be loaded with unhealthy stuff. It's no better at the high school, believe me: it's pizza; pre-packaged sandwiches, burritos & burgers; ramen cups; fries, cookies and snack food. Not just an MVWSD problem.

Posted by no lunch no learn
a resident of North Whisman
on May 29, 2008 at 11:34 am

Yes it is reasonable to expect parents to pay for lunches their children eat, however it is also very cold to plan not to feed children whose parents haven't sent in money. I would not want to be part of a community that couldn't figure out a way to make sure every child was fed each day, regardless of his account status. I would not want to be the child who had to sit with no lunch either.
My main point was that these school lunches are not worth 3 dollars to begin with.

Posted by Mom
a resident of Castro City
on May 31, 2008 at 5:53 pm

Maurice the board and the principal get in line for one month. Let's see if YOU can stomach the lunches. See for yourself what these studens are eating. Don't forget your money. ;0

Posted by DG
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2008 at 8:25 am

Look, the food is disgusting.

But there are poor parents who can't afford to pack good lunches.
BUT, i also believe they should not cheat our district and refuse to pay.
Thus, they should pack their own lunches when they know they are low on money.
It's sad- but too bad.

My little sis, who pays for her lunch- got sick once.
I wanted to sue so bad, but without proof, and since i was not backed up by evidence- i could not. My sis now only gets packed lunches from home, health foods only.
So yes, tis be true that the food is sometimes bad and cheap at school.

Reform the whole program.

Posted by Parent
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2008 at 10:40 am

Great idea to have better-quality, healthy and affordable food! Anyone willing to help investigate to see how this could happen? How other districts who have a large percentage of kids on lunch subsidies do it, and what their food is like? I'm sure the district would be willing to look at who the contractor is if there's a better option. Right now, none of us knows the answer to whether there is or not, so I'd reserve criticism until you know it's the district's fault. Find out the facts, then criticize. Why not at least call the district and ask them how they choose the contractor, what restrictions they may be working under because they are using federal money (which ALWAYS comes with strings attached), etc. My kids have eaten the school lunches for years. They say that some of the items are gross, some are pretty good. Usually they can find something they like, occasionally not. They have never gotten sick from school food. It's not the greatest--but no one is forced to eat it. And by the way--if your kid was in a Los Altos school and had not purchased (in advance, from the PTA) lunches for that month, and did not bring one from home--he or she would go in all likelihood go hungry because the school district does not have a food services contract like MVWSD (because they don't receive enough of a federal subsidy due to the very low percentage of low-income kids in the district). So I guess they are cold-hearted as well?

Posted by have a heart
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Any school that does not have a plan to provide some kind of lunch to children that for one reason or another do not bring one or bring money to buy one, IS cold-hearted regardless of the area code.

Posted by just wondering
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 3, 2008 at 12:51 pm

What happens to the left-over school lunch food each day?

Posted by Observer
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Have a Heart: When I was growing up, both at the Catholic School I attended and at the well-funded public school I went to, if you had not purchased a lunch ticket or had money in your pocket, you didn't get school lunch. When kids would forget, they would borrow from a friend, or kids would share their lunches. Didn't happen too often, because everyone knew the rules. I think this has always been true just about everywhere. Parents here have gotten used to the school district's generosity in allowing kids to get a lunch without paying; it's why they ended up in the hole. If parents know this, they will make sure that the kids have food or money.

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