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Something Has to Give: Schools Cutting Lunch Options
posted by: Colin | June 09, 2010, 01:24 PM   

"Food justice" advocates are in an uproar over New York City's plan to save $23.7 million by cutting meal choices, food-service workers, and free lunches. According to The Wall Street Journal, Mayor Bloomberg's proposal cuts the number of hot-meal options from three to two or from two to one, depending on how many are currently offered at the school. The plan also cuts 276 food service jobs and would cut the number of schools that receive free lunches.

New York City is facing a $5 billion budget deficit this year, and Mayor Bloomberg's May budget proposal called for 4,400 teachers to be laid off. New York City has also cut fire stations, libraries, and services for the youth and elderly. In other words, everybody is feeling the pinch of a tightening belt.

Elizabeth Puccini, founder of a group to promote more environmentally friendly schools, claims the lunch cuts will create "a real food-justice issue." City Council member Gale Brewer bemoaned, "Cutting down on food choices is a tragedy and it's outrageous." Really? A tragedy?

It is understandable that healthy-choice advocates are disappointed that some of their recent successes are being reversed in the current budget crisis, but clearly a plan that still serves meals to students while cutting $23.7 million is a worthwhile solution. The budget gaps across the country are not going to fix themselves. I'd rather see fewer options on the lunch menu (take away the grilled cheese, which never looked appetizing in a cafeteria anyway) than see fewer textbooks or even fewer teachers.

City Council member Gale Brewer noted, "Kids are picky and now they may not eat." Perhaps those kids need to talk to their grandparents more, who had to walk uphill seven miles to and from school, in the snow, and were grateful to have day-old bread and a glass of tap water at lunch.

Has your school implemented any controversial budget cuts?
Are any budget cuts not controversial?

Comment below.

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Mia, TN, June 10, 2010

Sorry - that should be "fewer" food choices!
written by Mia, TN, June 09, 2010

City Council member Gale Brewer noted, "Kids are picky and now they may not eat." -- Our pediatrician told us that if your child is hungry, she will eat. No kid is going to starve to death at school because they have less food choices.

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