Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way – Submitted by John Doe
The 2021 – 2022 school year has began facing many challenges, but these challenges should not have caught this district off guard. Last year was the year of surprises and challenges due to the Covid Virus, so you would think it would have been a valuable lesson in generating e-learning, and also in attending in-school learning in this new environment of social distancing, masking and CDC guidelines.
During our student’s and staff’s summer vacation break, would have been the time to buckle down and get plans in place to better prepare for these new issues all schools are now facing. It appears as if other districts did indeed take advantage of that time to plan for their school’s re-opening with students back inside the classrooms. Breakfasts and lunches being served in other districts under the new challenges has not prevented these schools from providing hot meals for their students for both breakfast and lunch periods.
We have local private schools that have also figured out how to serve these same hot meals. We are all hearing the same excuses for our district’s failure to provide fresh, nutritious, hot meals for our students. One being COVID19 regulations, which I can find no valid information to back up this theory. Another excuse is a certain food distributor going out of business, that has delayed supplies making their way to our school cafeterias. Clearly, other nearby districts have managed to order and receive deliveries from commercial food suppliers and their cafeteria workers are actually cooking!
My first thought is, there is far more than one food distributor for our district to work with. Secondly, our town has how many grocery stores? We also have Sam’s Club just a short drive from our area, and a Costco right across the river. In a pinch, instead of serving some off- brand cold “Lunchable” food kit look-alike to our students daily, why doesn’t the district order bulk luncheon meat like ham and turkey breast and have the cooks actually prepare fresh sub sandwiches daily? Produce could be purchased locally to make side salads, and bags of chips could be purchased as well. How about our cooks actually cooking large pots of soup with a toasted cheese sandwich? Fresh hot soup or a home made sub sandwich and a side salad and chips is far more palatable than these disgusting, mass produced, often times FROZEN meal kits.
Why are the horrible school lunches currently being served to our students uniquely a Granite City problem? Who is responsible at the district level for our school cafeterias? Lunches are provided free of charge to our district’s students, AS ARE THE EDWARDSVILLE DISTRICT STUDENTS! Why are our children less deserving of receiving the type of hot breakfasts and hot lunches that Edwardsville students, Alton Students, and students from other local districts receive? How much money is allocated to our district for these meals? How much per student? Are we utilizing these funds strictly to feed our students or has our district made this into a money making venture by not spending the allocated funds properly? I, for one, would like some answers.