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February 15th, 2012
Government Deems Students Packed Lunch Is No Good

The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.

The girl’s mother — who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation — said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a “healthy lunch” would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.

“I don’t feel that I should pay for a cafeteria lunch when I provide lunch for her from home,” the mother wrote in a complaint to her state representative, Republican G.L. Pridgen of Robeson County, reports the Journal.

“What got me so mad is, number one, don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly,” the girl’s mother told the Journal. “I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats. It always consists of a fruit. It never consists of a vegetable. She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn’t really care for vegetables.”

The Journal provides a copy of the state regulation:

“Sites must provide breakfast and/or snacks and lunch meeting USDA requirements during the regular school day. The partial/full cost of meals may be charged when families do not qualify for free/reduced price meals.

“When children bring their own food for meals and snacks to the center, if the food does not meet the specified nutritional requirements, the center must provide additional food necessary to meet those requirements.”

But what was so wrong with the lunch the mother provided? Nothing apparently. A spokesowman for the Division of Child Development explained that the mother’s meal should have been okay.

“With a turkey sandwich, that covers your protein, your grain, and if it had cheese on it, that’s the dairy,” Jani Kozlowski, the fiscal and statutory policy manager for the division, told the Journal. “It sounds like the lunch itself would’ve met all of the standard.”

It‘s unclear from reports who determined the lunch wasn’t healthy enough. The Carolina Journal refers to the person as a “state agent,” while the Atlanta Journal-Constitution calls the persona “state inspector” who was checking lunches that day. In an email to The Blaze, Caroline Journal reporter said the inspector was “an employee of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child Development and Early Education.”

The school denied knowledge of the incident and said it’s looking into it.

“While I share concerns about childhood obesity, I still remain uncertain of the right role for schools,” writes the Journal-Constitution’s Maureen Downey. “This story clearly exemplifies the wrong role.”




school lunches - 2012-02-15
The government is supposed to protect us from our enemies. you need to let us parents worry about our kids. keep your nose out of where it does not belong!!!!!
by Jason

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