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Chicago School Bans Lunches From Home

From a seemingly skeptical Chicago Tribune:

Chicago school bans some lunches brought from home

To encourage healthful eating, Chicago school doesn’t allow kids to bring lunches or certain snacks from home — and some parents, and many students, aren’t fans of the policy

By Monica Eng and Joel Hood, Tribune reporters
April 11, 2011

… At [the] 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). It’s milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception."

Aren’t they protecting these children from the parent’s food choices?

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."

So principals are the arbiters of what children can and can’t eat, and not their parents? Principals, who have what kind of degrees in nutrition?

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.

Such a policy also puts money into the pockets of the unionized workers in the cafeteria, who are often members of the SEIU. Who, in turn, put their money in the pockets of the Democrat politicians. So everybody is happy.

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

And here we were thinking there was no greater crime against humanity than a hungry child.

For many [Chicago Public School] parents, the idea of forbidding home-packed lunches would be unthinkable. If their children do not qualify for free or reduced-price meals, such a policy would require them to pay $2.25 a day for food they don’t necessarily like.

"We don’t spend anywhere close to that on my son’s daily intake of a sandwich (lovingly cut into the shape of a Star Wars ship), Goldfish crackers and milk," education policy professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach wrote in an email. Her son attends Nettelhorst Elementary School in Lakeview. "Not only would mandatory school lunches worsen the dietary quality of most kids’ lunches at Nettelhorst, but it would also cost more out of pocket to most parents! There is no chance the parents would stand for that." …

Who cares what the parents can afford? The unions have to eat, too. And so do the Chicago ward healers.

(Thanks to Chase for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Chicago School Bans Lunches From Home”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Follow the Money.

  2. proreason says:

    So? Your kids belong to them anyway. They are future marxists supporters. That trumps parental rights.

  3. NoNeoCommies says:

    Not to demean the folks in Chicago, but It would be easy to start a rumor about the government spiking lunches with mind control drugs designed to control the minority population.
    How long would the restriction stand if that happened?

  4. Ah, yes. The all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful nanny state useful idiots who can over ride parental authority because gub’mint is superior.

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

    You parents! You ignorant rubes! I AM THE DECIDER of what is good for your children.

    “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.”

    And THAT is the real reason behind this all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful nanny state useful idiot policy: MONEY in the pockets of the educational elite.

    You parents! You ignorant rubes! WE ARE THE DECIDERS of what is good for your children – because the FEDS pay us a lot of GRAFT to reinforce our POWER over you.

    Parental choice and common sense be damned.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      From Food Management: http://food-management.com/segments/schools/0813_stlouis_schools/

      An excerpt published Aug 1, 2008 Regarding the St Louis School System

      Chartwells and Thompson (a minority owned business that has a strategic partnership with Chartwells parent Compass Group North America to co-manage select public foodservice contracts) received a one-year deal whose cost is contingent on overall student enrollment and on the number qualifying for federally subsidized school meals.

      So, the amount of income Chartwell receives is contingent upon student enrollment who qualify for federally subsidized school meals. That is, the school determines who qualifies and how much money they get. So if the numbers (that is “demand”) drops, Chartwell gets less money, the way I see it. If the school forces kids to eat at school…and prevents them from brown-bagging it (And, really, what neo-nazi method do they have to enforce this?) then Chartwell makes out financially.

      At the very bottom line…show the feds and the school system the “high quality” meals…then when the contract is signed, cut spending by buying sub-standard ingredients (overhead) and scoop the lion’s share of taxpayer money into your pocket (profits). Gee, this has never been done or even thought of before, has it? (sarcasm)

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      How much the Chartwells contract costs in Chicago: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_26_39/ai_n14710414/

      The contract is worth $100 million in managed annual volume and will service 613 schools and 426,812 students. Annual revenue will exceed $52 million.

      And, if I understand this correctly, the money to pay for it comes from….(wait for it)…..TAX dollars.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Finally from the Chartwells website for Washington DC schools, some real grinners:


      All students are entitled to a free breakfast.

      Lunch is free in over 80 locations.

      The afterschool supper program is offered at 90 DCPS locations this year.

      So, teach your kids there is such a thing as a free lunch. (And breakfast and dinner)

    • TerryAnne says:

      So…let me get this straight:

      The government puts out a bid for a contract to supply food.

      Companies put forth bids. One of which says that the school must always have X amounts enrolled…which causes essentially more work that what the original contract bid stated. (Assuming the latter)

      The government gives that company the bid.

      And creates more work all the way around.

      Just how much of the Chicago tax dollars are going straight back to the Democrat coffers again? This really does seem to be one of the most mangled contracts in government history!

  5. David says:

    About time! Now all we need is some serious enforcement. They can get a bunch of people who failed the TSA tests and a couple of naked body scanners to come and grope search the kids to be sure they aren’t bringing in any dangerous chips, cookies, or soda.

  6. U NO HOO says:

    “”bottles of soda and flaming hot chips” on field trips for their lunch”

    What parent in its right mind sends fresh milk with a child on a field trip?

  7. canary says:

    This act of communism ordering children to pay for “government food” comes from Michelle and Arne Duncan who travel around to schools bribing them with ongoing federal stimulus money.

    This is why OK Senator Tom Coburn M.D. (R) drilled Hagan prior to be appointed to the Supreme Court Justice as to if she believed forcing American on what they could eat was Constitutional. No matter how Senator Coburn worded it, to include her take his word that there were bills on table and the importance of her belief on this Constitutional question, Kagan repeatedly refused to answer. oh..uh..well..

    Children do bring bag lunches because the food sucks. It’s vendors that deliver in most schools. Often cold by the time a school gets it.

    Also, if you don’t qualify for free or discounted meals, it’s for parents to save money, because school
    meals are skyrocketing, to pay for the free meals. I can’t tell you how many parents lie and get their children free meals, even though there is criminal warning.

    The schools want children on free meals, because it now helps them get more federal stimulus money and updates for equipment, counters, etc to their schools.

    Walmarts is keeping their part of the partnership with Obama. So, name brand foods are changing their ingredients.

    My son’s school has a deal with a local national pizza chain, to make the pizza special with whole grain crust, and the school has it 2 of the 5 days a week. Sure, they get a discount from the pizza, but customizing the pizza to whole grain, less fat, costs. The kids are sick of it. And 2.60 a slice is outrageous.

    And instead of 4 hours of golf for Obama to get outdoors, he should work in the White House plantation
    garden. He and family should make it healthy family quality time, and stop forcing young children to
    work the garden. Gosh, first an occasional chance to for the children to eat lettuce. Now it’s herbs.

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