The first step in the journey towards improving school lunches was to ensure that nutritious meals are required to be served. The next question, of course, is, how do we pay for it? Fresh produce costs more, schools that are currently equipped only with freezers and steamers have to redesigned so actual cooking can take place.More or better qualified staff may be necessary as well.
Part of the costs of the current system are borne by the government, some of the students receive subsidized meals based on income levels and the rest pay an amount ranging from $ 1.50 to $ 2.75 depending on the location of the school. These prices will have to increase. School authorities fear that some families will then have to opt out of the lunch system which would worsen the situation.
Providing healthy lunches to children , it can be argued, is the parents’ responsibility. Most people would agree that where parents are struggling to make ends meet, the government should come to their aid. Even when times are bad as they are today, fulfilling the nutritional needs of children today to ensure a healthy future population is crucial. Therefore, attempts to control the deficit should not restrict funding to nutritional programs. Better to bear a deficit to ensure healthy children that to bear a deficit for wars that our children have to fight. Countries like France, Germany, Finland all provide healthy food in schools. How do they manage it? I will be posting about this shortly.
As for those who pay the current cost of lunch, here are some issues to think about: if the school provides a nutritionally adequate , freshly prepared meal to our children, might it not be worth paying a little more for that? I pack 2 lunches everyday and I try to cook from scratch. This takes time ,and money as well ,so I might give some thought to my total cost benefit here before I decide to opt out. And I would be the first to admit that on there are hectic mornings on which snack packs or other packaged foods provide a welcome solution to the lunch problem. So, if I knew that my child will get a wholesome lunch, prepared from fresh produce at the school, this might appear to be an alternative worth considering.