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Chicago school bans some lunches brought from home

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  • Chicago school bans some lunches brought from home

    I feel for them, while the food may be "healthy" I remember it tasting bad or many times having no taste at all. And the hot food often had frozen cores.

    Fernando Dominguez cut the figure of a young revolutionary leader during a recent lunch period at his elementary school.

    "Who thinks the lunch is not good enough?" the seventh-grader shouted to his lunch mates in Spanish and English.

    Dozens of hands flew in the air and fellow students shouted along: "We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch!"

    Fernando waved his hand over the crowd and asked a visiting reporter: "Do you see the situation?"

    At his public school, Little Village Academy on Chicago's West Side, students are not allowed to pack lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria.

    Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.

    "Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school," Carmona said. "It's about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom) BULL****. It's milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception."

    Carmona said she created the policy six years ago after watching students bring "bottles of soda and flaming hot chips" on field trips for their lunch. Although she would not name any other schools that employ such practices, she said it was fairly common.

    A Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman said she could not say how many schools prohibit packed lunches and that decision is left to the judgment of the principals.

    "While there is no formal policy, principals use common sense judgment based on their individual school environments," Monique Bond wrote in an email. "In this case, this principal is encouraging the healthier choices and attempting to make an impact that extends beyond the classroom."

    Any school that bans homemade lunches also puts more money in the pockets of the district's food provider, Chartwells-Thompson. The federal government pays the district for each free or reduced-price lunch taken, and the caterer receives a set fee from the district per lunch.

    At Little Village, most students must take the meals served in the cafeteria or go hungry or both. During a recent visit to the school, dozens of students took the lunch but threw most of it in the garbage uneaten. Though CPS has improved the nutritional quality of its meals this year, it also has seen a drop-off in meal participation among students, many of whom say the food tastes bad.

    "Some of the kids don't like the food they give at our school for lunch or breakfast," said Little Village parent Erica Martinez. "So it would be a good idea if they could bring their lunch so they could at least eat something."

    "(My grandson) is really picky about what he eats," said Anna Torrez, who was picking up the boy from school. "I think they should be able to bring their lunch. Other schools let them. But at this school, they don't."

    But parent Miguel Medina said he thinks the "no home lunch policy" is a good one. "The school food is very healthy," he said, "and when they bring the food from home, there is no control over the food."

    At Claremont Academy Elementary School on the South Side, officials allow packed lunches but confiscate any snacks loaded with sugar or salt. (They often are returned after school.) Principal Rebecca Stinson said that though students may not like it, she has yet to hear a parent complain.

    "The kids may have money or earn money and (buy junk food) without their parents' knowledge," Stinson said, adding that most parents expect that the school will look out for their children.

    Such discussions over school lunches and healthy eating echo a larger national debate about the role government should play in individual food choices.

    "This is such a fundamental infringement on parental responsibility," said J. Justin Wilson, a senior researcher at the Washington-based Center for Consumer Freedom, which is partially funded by the food industry.

    "Would the school balk if the parent wanted to prepare a healthier meal?" Wilson said. "This is the perfect illustration of how the government's one-size-fits-all mandate on nutrition fails time and time again. Some parents may want to pack a gluten-free meal for a child, and others may have no problem with a child enjoying soda."
    Life is what you make of it

  • #2
    Yeah, I remember in grade school no one took the spaghetti because the sauce is burned half the time and tasted really nasty. Most kids either brought sandwiches home on that day or chose to not eat at all.
    Life is what you make of it

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    • #3
      But parent Miguel Medina said he thinks the "no home lunch policy" is a good one. "The school food is very healthy," he said, "and when they bring the food from home, there is no control over the food."
      Stupidity summed up. As a so called parent you absolutely have control over what food is brought from your home. That's not to blink at the reality of kids trading items, but that's just part of growing up. Having had the pleasure of eating Chartwells for a couple years I'm with the 7th grader: Their food is terrible.

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      • #4
        Where I went to school it was 100% optional wether you packed a lunch or not. It didnt matter if you brought bag of McDonalds food or a Tuna sandwich in your spiderman lunchbox. However, I was to lazy to pack a lunch so I always ate school food which wasent bad.

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        • #5
          Do I see a new Federal Govt job? "Home Packed Lunch Inspector."
          Sometimes, doing the right thing means p***ing off the bosses.

          "And shepherds we shall be, for thee my lord for thee."

          Originally posted by dontknowwhy
          I still think troopers and deputies who work in the middle of no where with essentially no back up are the 'men among men' of the LEO world.
          Originally posted by weinerdog2000
          as far as your social experiment, if we cant film you then you cant film us, we will arrest you for obstruction of our freedom.

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          • #6
            Sometimes I wish they would ban home lunches at work. I used to work on the opposite side of a wall from the lunch room. I won't say that the asians bring in some nasty smelling stuff, but a co-worker once asked me during their lunch period "when did the tide go out?"
            This Space For Rent

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pogue Mahone View Post
              Sometimes I wish they would ban home lunches at work. I used to work on the opposite side of a wall from the lunch room. I won't say that the asians bring in some nasty smelling stuff, but a co-worker once asked me during their lunch period "when did the tide go out?"
              I can understand that, where I work its not just the asians but a lot of the people like to bring trendy stinky food.
              It's not that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so. Ronald Reagan


              TSA, I would rather be felt up than blown up.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Redders View Post
                Do I see a new Federal Govt job? "Home Packed Lunch Inspector."
                Lord, Obama will create an entire department of 'home packed Lunch Inspectors'. They will be based in the same building as the internal revenue service.

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                • #9
                  What a bunch of crap! Who the hell are they to control that? Controlling what the kids can buy above and beyond what the parents give them yes. Otherwise, it is none of there business!

                  My school lunches SUCKED! They also were loaded with cheese..who knows what was under all that cheese and I don't think it was real cheese...




                  World_So_Cold

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