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National School Lunch Program

National School Lunch Program
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  • Post #121 - June 21st, 2011, 2:01 pm
    Post #121 - June 21st, 2011, 2:01 pm Post #121 - June 21st, 2011, 2:01 pm
    Mhays wrote:Actually, yes there is ...


    I don't see anything in the document that is inconsistent with what I said.

    I don't know of any regulation that says a school can only fund the lunch program by either charging non-eligible kids for their meals or by getting USDA money. Perhaps you can point me to such a rule.
  • Post #122 - June 21st, 2011, 2:05 pm
    Post #122 - June 21st, 2011, 2:05 pm Post #122 - June 21st, 2011, 2:05 pm
    Mhays wrote:Just realizing that I didn't answer the question entirely - so, since it's essentially a stand-alone program, you can't juggle numbers with the school budget and add some to the lunch program like you could with math or reading. The reimbursement rate and student payment is completely separate from the school district's budget. Cash-strapped districts faced with cutting instructors are not about to touch a line item that has its own income.

    I have heard that some districts use their capitol improvement money to pay for kitchen upgrades, though.


    I think we are talking at cross-purposes. You seem to be making a prediction about what would happen. I'm simply saying that schools have options. As I asked in my last post, is there anything that legally prevents a school from running a lunch program that doesn't cover its costs?
  • Post #123 - June 21st, 2011, 3:43 pm
    Post #123 - June 21st, 2011, 3:43 pm Post #123 - June 21st, 2011, 3:43 pm
    There is a legal obligation to keep the lunch budget separate from the school budget, as it is separately audited by the state on behalf of the Federal government.

    I do know that some states offer more reimbursement for these costs - however, school budgets fall under state and local guidelines. and are generally extremely proscribed. In Illinois, for instance, school budget expenditures are expected to fall under the following areas:

    10 Educational
    20 Operations & Maintenance
    30 Debt Service
    40 Transportation
    50 Municipal Retirement/Social Security
    60 Capital Projects
    70 Working Cash
    80 Tort
    90 Fire Prevention & Safety

    You will note that school food/nutrition is not included as a possible category. While there does not seem to be a specific law precluding a district's budget from going to school lunch, effectively the way school budgets are allocated prevents school monies from going to the program. I can't find this information for Illinois, but here's a great breakdown of the system in California. Note that transfers from a school's general fund to the school lunch program to covers shortfalls are called "encroachment"

    Many of the "magic" school lunch transformations that you hear about take place in private schools that have a) an existing kitchen and b) no specific fund restrictions.
  • Post #124 - June 21st, 2011, 3:52 pm
    Post #124 - June 21st, 2011, 3:52 pm Post #124 - June 21st, 2011, 3:52 pm
    Actually, you'll see on page 8 of that document that costs for providing lunches are allocated to group 10, the educational fund.

    Mhays wrote:There is a legal obligation to keep the lunch budget separate from the school budget, as it is separately audited by the state on behalf of the Federal government.


    Keeping a separate budget is not the same thing as requiring a specific revenue stream or requiring that the lunch budget is in balance. I presume you did not mean to imply that it did.

    In any case, there isn't much point in belaboring this. It will be interesting to see which Illinois schools opt-in to this program. I am sure that many schools will view this decision through the lens that you've described and will simply calculate whether the new subsidy is larger or smaller than the one they previously received.
  • Post #125 - August 17th, 2011, 9:17 am
    Post #125 - August 17th, 2011, 9:17 am Post #125 - August 17th, 2011, 9:17 am
    Schools Restore Fresh Cooking to the Cafeteria - http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/educa ... ml?_r=1&hp
    "Sandwiches are wonderful. You don't need a spoon or a plate!"
    Paul Lynde
  • Post #126 - August 30th, 2011, 9:01 am
    Post #126 - August 30th, 2011, 9:01 am Post #126 - August 30th, 2011, 9:01 am
    There is a petition circulating on the 'net to push Congress into starting a healthy lunch program. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/735/579/501/

    Mods - if this is inappropriate, feel free to delete.
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  • Post #127 - October 5th, 2011, 10:59 am
    Post #127 - October 5th, 2011, 10:59 am Post #127 - October 5th, 2011, 10:59 am
    After a year of bagel dogs and Salisbury steak, anonymously critiquing the school fare on her blog, Fed Up With Lunch, Mrs. Q has revealed herself as Sarah Wu, a CPS speech pathologist.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca ... 5446.story
    "Sandwiches are wonderful. You don't need a spoon or a plate!"
    Paul Lynde
  • Post #128 - January 26th, 2012, 12:29 am
    Post #128 - January 26th, 2012, 12:29 am Post #128 - January 26th, 2012, 12:29 am
    Hi- While I was checking my email a few minutes ago, I noticed that the federal government is revamping the school lunch program. This is the first time in 15 years the regulations have been revamped. School lunches will now be required to contain more fruits and vegetables and less sodium.

    http://news.yahoo.com/school-lunches-mo ... 52471.html

    I know that part of the problem is that many school lunch programs do not cook from scratch, and just reheat chicken mcnuggets or whatever, because it is easier. I just saw a segment on TV a few days ago, where lunch ladies were being trained to cook from scratch again. I can's remember which program I saw it on. It might have been on Nightline or a similar program, or on CNN.

    Michele Obama apparently had a hand in this. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #129 - January 27th, 2012, 2:56 pm
    Post #129 - January 27th, 2012, 2:56 pm Post #129 - January 27th, 2012, 2:56 pm
    With the news a few days ago about new federal standards for school meals, I was rereading posts in this thread and reading accounts of school lunches of the past. It is striking that most of the issues we raised in the last few years here were considered and addressed a century ago. The passages below are all from Food Timeline: School Lunches. For example,

    Why serving nutritious lunches for school children is a necessity (from Mary Swartz Rose, PhD, assistant professor, Dept. of Nutrition, Teachers College, Columbia University, Feeding the Family, NY: MacMillan, 1917):
    In many of our large cities and industrial centers the elementary school luncheon has long since passed the experimental stage and is regarded as a valuable part of the school training as well as a safeguard for the health of the child. Very often the pioneer work has been done by women's clubs or philanthropic organizations which have assumed the task of demonstrating to school authorities the practicability and value of such feeding. The expensive machinery of education is wasted when it operates on a mind listless from hunger or befogged by indigestible food. Whether the cause be poverty, ignorance, or carelessness, the child is the sufferer, and the painstaking work of the school lunch supervisors to secure wholesome and adequate noon meals for the school children at a minimum cost not only brings immediate benefit to the children, but exerts a widespread influence upon homes and parents, as the children carry to them reports of these concrete lessons in the science of proper selection, preparation, and hygiene of food. The school luncheon must be simple, easily served and economical. It may consist of a hot dish, with some form of bread, and a choice of about two sweet dishes; milk or cocoa should always be obtainable.


    Dr. Rose gives an example of a menu from Philadelphia:
    A week's menu as actually served by the School Lunch Committee of the Home and School League in Philadelphia is given below:

    Weekly menu in school with penny lunches and five-cent noon dinner
    Monday: (1) Baked beans and roll, 5 cents (2) Cocoa or milk, 2 cents; crackers or ice cream, 1 cent
    Tuesday: (1) Vegetable soup and roll, 5 cents (2) Same choice as Monday
    Wednesday: (1) Creamed beef on toast and roll, 5 cents (2) See Monday. Dates 1 cent
    Thursday: (1) Macaroni with tomato sauce and roll, 5 cents (2) See Monday. Jam sandwich, 1 cent
    Friday: (1) Creamed salmon and roll, 5 cents (1) See Monday

    It seems rather short in the vegetable and fruit departments, although meat is only served once.

    How to get kids to eat what’s better for them rather than junk food (also from Rose's book):
    Many high school children do not go home for the noon meal. In fact, the custom of providing meals at school began in America with the high school, and most city schools have lunch rooms. Sometimes these are let by contract and there is no skilled supervision of the food supply. But with the spread of the carefully supervised elementary school luncheon attention has been directed to the real needs of the high school youth and the opportunities for education in good eating habits. An interesting attempt to help the pupil to choose wisely is shown in the Menu Bulletin of the Julia Richman High School in New York City:

    Julia Richman High School
    Lunch Service
    Menu Bulletin No. 37


    N.B. You require 800 balanced Calories for Lunch. Purchase the items which give you this quantity.

    Soup:
    Split pea, bread and butter...Calories: 310; Price, 5 cents
    Hot dish:
    Veal stew with vegetables, bread and butter...Calories: 350; Price, 10 cents
    Vegetables:
    Lima beans...Calories: 125; Price, 3 cents
    Sandwiches:
    Date nut on graham bread...Calories: 245; Price, 4 cents
    Chopped egg...Calories: 200; Price, 4 cents
    Desserts:
    Raisin layer cake...Calories: 300; Price, 5 cents
    Horton's ice cream...Calories: 200; Price, 5 cents
    Bread pudding, chocolate sauce...Calories: 275; Price, 4 cents
    Baked apple and cream...Calories: 120; Price, 3 cents
    Apple...Calories: 50; Price, 1 cent
    Crackers:
    Cecilias...Calories: 100; Price, 3 for 1 cent
    Fireside peanut jumbles...Calories: 110; Price, 2 for 1 cent
    Candy
    Sweet milk chocolate, large bars...Calories: 500; Price, 5 cents
    Almond bars...Calories: 600; Price, 5 cents
    Assorted penny candy...Calories: 100; Price, 1 cent
    Beverages
    Milk...Calories: 140; Price. 3 cents
    Cocoa...Calories: 110; Price, 3 cents
    Breads
    White or graham, with butter...Calories: 185; Price, 2 cents

    The result of the educational work done here is clearly demonstrated in the change of demand for food. The first few days of the service, the candy and pastry tables were the chief points of purchase, more than half of the receipts coming from that source. About 30 bowls of soup were sold and 15 to 20 other hot dishes. Within four weeks from the commencement of the service were selling an average of 80 to 90 bowls of soup and 40 to 60 other hot dishes.


    And even this early, there is a branded product served: Horton's ice cream.
  • Post #130 - February 1st, 2012, 5:28 pm
    Post #130 - February 1st, 2012, 5:28 pm Post #130 - February 1st, 2012, 5:28 pm
    Mark Bittman's perspective on the recent changes - http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... ref=dining
    "Sandwiches are wonderful. You don't need a spoon or a plate!"
    Paul Lynde
  • Post #131 - February 1st, 2012, 10:01 pm
    Post #131 - February 1st, 2012, 10:01 pm Post #131 - February 1st, 2012, 10:01 pm
    Mark Bittman's perspective on the recent changes - http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... ref=dining

    I find it disturbing that Bittman is such a virulent Tater Hater.
    Food & Flowers: Garden Myths Busted, by Linda Chalker-Scott of Washington State University; Seed-Saving 101; Beekeeping 101 with Joe Lamp'l

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