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Cheesed off

by Izzy Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 05:21:59 AM EST

Whenever anyone's asked me about attempting to get help from the US government, I've given this advice:  have someone beat you in the head with a bat or similar heavy object (any repeated blunt force trauma will do) and, while you're still reeling, have them hand you a block of cheese.  

You'll get the same result -- headache, trauma, cheese -- but without the emotional humiliation and in a lot less time.

I don't know what the deal is -- if it's just a US thing or a worldwide phenomenon -- but in my experience as the child of a Welfare Mother, whatever happened we always just ended up with cheese.  So perhaps my own personal issues have something to do with why I got so pissed off reading this AP article today:

The 'Cheese Sandwich Diet' for School Kids


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A cold cheese sandwich, fruit and a carton of milk might not seem like much of a meal -- but that's what's on the menu for students in New Mexico's largest school district without their lunch money.

Faced with mounting unpaid lunch charges in the economic downturn, Albuquerque Public Schools last month instituted a "cheese sandwich policy," serving the alternative meals to children whose parents are supposed to be able to pay for some or all of their regular meals but fail to pick up the tab.

Honestly, just thinking of cheese sandwiches is making me a little nauseous, lo these many years later.  Such is the power of Poor Kid Lunch Trauma.  I'd thought we'd made some strides in this area, to not let kids go hungry but also to spare them unneeded attention and humiliation.  

It used to be common for schools to give poor kids cheese sandwiches, then someone came up with the genius idea that they should have hot lunches like everyone else.

Schools started giving ID cards to low-income kids with which they could get free lunches, but even though the hot lunches were the same, the cash kids could still stigmatize the, now card-carrying, poor kids.  

Then advancing technology finally solved the problem -- all kids would purchase their lunches with a debit card and no one could tell which were the cash ones that parents had paid for into an account, and which were the free ones, obtained after a lengthy qualifying process.

When I first heard about the debit-card hot lunch system I was so relieved -- I thought the cheese sandwich was finally dead.

But no.  

Such policies have become a necessity for schools seeking to keep budgets in the black while ensuring children don't go hungry. School districts including those in Chula Vista, Calif.; Hillsborough County, Fla.; and Lynnwood, Wash.; have also taken to serving cheese sandwiches to children with delinquent lunch accounts.

So apparently these are the kids whose parents had been paying into their lunch accounts, but for one reason or another have stopped.  

And then we have the usual "fair and balanced" routine:

Critics argue the cold meals are a form of punishment for children whose parents can't afford to pay. Parents who qualify for free meals are not affected.

"We've heard stories from moms coming in saying their child was pulled out of the lunch line and given a cheese sandwich," said Nancy Pope, director of the New Mexico Collaborative to End Hunger. "One woman said her daughter never wants to go back to school."

Some Albuquerque parents have tearfully pleaded with school board members to stop singling out their children because they're poor, while others have flooded talk radio shows thanking the district for imposing a policy that commands parental responsibility.

You know, I'm just so sick to death of hearing from these filthy talk-radio fucks.  I mean, honestly, what kind of twisted assholes could interpret this into some bullshit right-wing crap about responsibility?  Do they think parents pay for their kids lunches and just, one day, out of the blue, they're too lazy to feed their kids?  How fucking stupid are they?  

This is what happens in a country without a safety net -- the schools have to carry the burden:

"What you are seeing is families struggling and having a really hard time, and school districts are struggling as well," said Crystal FitzSimons of the national Food Research and Action Center.

In Albuquerque, unpaid lunch charges hovered around $55,000 in 2006. That jumped to $130,000 at the end of the 2007-08 school year. It was $140,000 through the first five months of this school year.

Charges were on pace to reach $300,000 by the end of the year. Mary Swift, director of Albuquerque's food and nutrition services, said her department had no way to absorb that debt as it had in the past

So evidently there's just a wave of irresponsibility sweeping the area.  

What's worse is that it's not just those dimwits.  The reason I linked to the little-known first coast news is that it had one of the only headlines that didn't make me see red.  Search google news for 'cheese sandwich' and this is the headline that accompanies most of the articles -- No More Free Lunch:  Schools Get Tough on Deadbeats.  Seriously.  Deadbeats.  In an article about hungry children.

Second-grader Danessa Vigil said she will never eat sliced cheese again. She had to eat cheese sandwiches because her mother couldn't afford to give her lunch money while her application for free lunch was being processed.

"Every time I eat it, it makes me feel like I want to throw up," the 7-year-old said.

Yeah, Danessa, I know how you feel.  I could throw up right now, too, and it's not just the memories of the cheese.

Display:
I don't know how interesting this will be to Europeans - perhaps you've solved the Free Lunch problem there - but I had to get this off my chest.  I'm off to bed but will check back in the morning.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 05:26:03 AM EST
The simple solution would be to make the lunches free for all the kids, and teachers and staff, and pay for it out of general taxes.

And this is a general issue, everywhere. The fact that a free lunch is good for education is even an important insight in development economics.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 05:48:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm in agreement with your 'simple' solution, but... people are ridiculously resistant.  

Part of the problem here is that the schools have been such a political pawn for so long.  My whole life I've been reading and hearing the right wail about how the schools in poor areas are 'wasting' money.  

I admit that here in California in the '70s, there was a small nugget of truth in the complaints -- a lot of 'liberal' programs had been instituted which were clearly ridiculous.  

There were various new ways of teaching reading and math that were dismal failures, but, worse, many 'alternative' programs that... well, let's just say a goodly amount of the people I knew in the LA punk scene had been subjected to Scientology and EST in high school.

However, most of that was short-lived.  The real problems started with the dismantling of the safety net.  Schools suddenly had to provide food, medical care, and policing.  Of course the budgets ballooned.  For the past 25 years or so, almost everything I've read about schools, usually in the interest of pushing vouchers or charter schools, has been a load of crap.

I was on a committee for an inner-city school for awhile, deciding how to allocate a federal grant they'd gotten.  Almost all the money was going to social services.  Teachers have long known that hungry kids don't learn well.  When this school got its grant, we fully funded the lunches and added in breakfasts.  

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 04:10:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ye...esss..breakfast clubs-that's another point.

My son's suburban school and mine both run breakfast clubs for year 6 during SATs week.

At his school, we will get the menu, choose his cooked breakfast, choice of cereals and juices, number of slices of toast-and send in a cheque.  The school cooks are paid for the extra shifts.

At my school, the breakfast club is funded by the staff. We feed them toast and jam and juice, paid for out of the head teacher's own pocket.  The rest of us come in early and unpaid, bearing our own domestic toasters and reliant on the goodwill of friends looking after our own children before school. Some of us even make muffins.  

To be taken up by those who really need it, a breakfast club would have to be free.  We know we need one-a lot of our children don't eat breakfast.  But it takes quite a few of us to make and waitress all-you-can-eat toast and jam to just sixty kids in the time available.  And the paid-for-by-the-staff model isn't exactly sustainable over the long term.  :(

by Sassafras on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 05:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Teachers are so underpaid and undervalued here.  I really admire these kind of efforts, but you are right in that the LEA/Government should make this provision not the teachers themselves.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 28th, 2009 at 03:43:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My child's school has a breakfast club but
  1. breakfast is not free
  2. the younger children cannot be left unattended - this cannot be used as a morning child care facility by working parents.


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 28th, 2009 at 10:03:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the student's brain doesn't have the energy it needs to work right -- it won't.

Almost pointless to try and educate hungry or malnourished kids.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Feb 28th, 2009 at 07:09:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And to that end, can we please ban candy, chips and sugar-containing sodas from our schools? Trying to teach a class of kids who are hopped up to their nostrils on sugar is an exercise in herding cats and teaching them tricks at the same time.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Mar 1st, 2009 at 02:48:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From my experience as a Parent Governor in a primary school in Greater London:
  1. children of families on benefits above a certain level are aligible for free school meals
  2. the fraction of pupils eligible for school meals is taken as a key socioeconomic indicator when comparing results across schools, nationally
  3. in the primary school where I was, school meals were paid weekly to the local educational authority, but were collected by the class teacher. Unless someone was keeping tabs on which parents or children never gave the teacher a "dinner money envelope" there was no way to know which children were on free school meals. In particular, all children were given the same food choices at lunch time.
  4. the school system seemed to take privacy as a child protection issue and child protection was taken very seriously so having children be stigmatised for being on free school meals would raise all kinds of alarms
Maybe I had a too rosy picture of the theory and the reality was different, but I doubt it.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 06:03:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seconded.

I work in an inner-city primary school, and the free school meals children are well looked after.

At my daughter's high school, they use a debit card system as Izzy describes.  No one has any way of telling whose card is loaded by the local authority, and whose by cheque.

The issue here, however, is those who are poor but don't qualify for free school meals.

There is no presumption here that a child will eat a school lunch.  Many bring sandwiches, and there's no stigma attached.  In fact, the poor quality and cheap ingredients of school meals means that it's more often the middle classes who opt to bring their own.

In primary school, paid-for meals are booked and paid for a week in advance.  No money, no meal.

That's not to say that any child will be allowed to go without lunch: a dinner register is taken alongside the attendance register and a hungry child will be fed.  In fact, I've had several retrospective bills for school lunches after my son has left his sandwiches at home.  But a parent of a primary school child who sent in neither money nor sandwiches on a regular basis would find themselves receiving a phone call from the school's designated child protection officer fairly quickly. And rightly, in my opinion, because if a child isn't getting fed there's a serious cause for concern.

High school, though-staggered lunchtimes, scattered dining arrangements-frankly, I'm not convinced they'd know if a child wasn't being fed.

by Sassafras on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 10:08:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, the debit card system isn't completely as Izzy describes, because there's no facility to go overdrawn.  The school credits parental cheques to the child's account before they're banked, admittedly, so it would be possible to end up owing them money if I bounced a cheque.

But if there's no money on the card, they can't buy anything.

by Sassafras on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 12:06:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, the debit card system isn't completely as Izzy describes, because there's no facility to go overdrawn.

Actually, that's how I was aware that it worked, too.  The thing in the article about kids getting overdrawn was news to me, but I'm assuming that in the poorer districts they've added in that feature.  The article says that the NM district being discussed already has about 3/5 of the students on subsidized lunches.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 04:16:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with middle class families not taking up the school meals is that the paying pupils subsidize the ones eligible for free school meals. If school meal take-up drops too much the system will cease to be financially viable.


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 28th, 2009 at 10:06:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but, you do remind me of the somewhat paranoid theory that the real purpose of school is to humiliate children.  

The main problem with this theory is that it explains the facts better than more normal theories, both official and unofficial.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 05:51:06 AM EST
Maybe not humiliation but enforced conformity. Humililation is the way conformity is enforced.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 06:06:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember when someone asked me once what I thought it was that made the UK's public school system so successful, the only answer I could think of was 'Organised child abuse.'
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 06:30:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but at my child's school the children seem happy.

They can't add 2-digit numbers at the age of 7, but that's another issue (diary forthcoming...).

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 06:31:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are epic differences between public (i.e. private prep) school and state funded primary education.

Kids in some prep schools will be learning basic Latin, French and sometimes algebra before they're 11. They're hothoused very aggressively.

I wasn't taught basic arithmetic and times tables until 8 in my state primary school. That was a long time ago - I don't know what the schedule is now.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 06:55:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd learnt quite a lot more by the time I left the UK, though it was a Catholic school run by nuns so I guess it wasn't a "state" school?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 06:59:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mine was a Catholic school which very much wasn't run by nuns. A lot of primary schools in the UK have explicit CofE or Catholic affiliations, for some reason.

I don't know how this affects teaching or influences curriculum timing - beyond the obvious of having some slots for services and talks by priests which secular schools wouldn't have.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 08:35:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
I don't know how this affects teaching or influences curriculum timing - beyond the obvious of having some slots for services and talks by priests which secular schools wouldn't have.
It allows what is otherwise a state school to select its students.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 08:52:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My experience was roughly the same as TBG's, as far as math goes.  Times tables in 1st Grade, so I would've been 7.  I guess adding two-digit numbers would've come the year before.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 07:23:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've a great deal of sympathy for that view, though I wouldn't phrase it "the real purpose". Something more like, "the actual effect". Or, "the institutional bias is towards" humiliating children.

Or that the hidden purpose of school is to reproduce the social order.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 07:19:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you do remind me of the somewhat paranoid theory that the real purpose of school is to humiliate children.

I actually don't think that, but children are powerless and vulnerable, so their humiliation is often the outcome in flawed systems and I don't understand the casual tolerance of it when it's pointed out.

I do, however, think there's a somewhat purposeful element of humiliation in the US social services, which is almost always the result of policies pushed by Republicans and celebrated by their followers.  This punitive "culture" seems to filter down into all areas.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 04:24:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And don't forget that ketchup is a vegetable.

(And that 80% of pollution is caused by trees.)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 06:18:38 AM EST
I started sending my daughter to school with sandwiches when I realised that tinned spaghetti was a vegetable.

And that the assurance that they only ate chips once a week was a bit valueless when sauteed potatoes, hash browns, smiley faces and roast potatoes were served on the other four days.

(There has been a big public campaign (led by a TV chef) to improve school meals since, and they have improved.)

by Sassafras on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 10:20:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you ever noticed that in every American movie about being in school it's the lunchroom where the most humiliation takes place?  

I went to catholic school and we all wore uniforms so nobody could "label" kids based on clothing.  We were all equally uncomfortable.  But we could humiliate each other over lunches - and we didn't even have govt. subsidies.  

But in our school EVERYONE brought a cheese sandwich for lunch except the poor kids whose parents were first generation Americans and had to bring leftovers with unpronounceable names.  Boy were THEY sorry.  Looking back on it, those kids had gourmet lunches and we ... had cheese sandwiches.  What were we thinking?

by Maryb2004 on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 10:50:41 AM EST
Looking back on it, those kids had gourmet lunches and we ... had cheese sandwiches.  What were we thinking?

Indeed.  Children are brutal.  They're also the most accurate reflectors of their cultures.  If anyone's fuzzy on what the unspoken messages of their culture are, all they have to do is visit an elementary school.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 04:28:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm.

This is something I have apparently been ignorant of my whole life.

When I was in school, only the "poor" kids ate hot lunches, unless it was pizza day, when everyone ate school lunch.  I almost always brought my lunch, and most of my peers did as well.  And it's not like we were wealthy or anything.  At the beginning of the month, your parents got a menu and ticked off the days their kids would be having school (hot) lunches.  So  kids would bring their lunches most days, except when the school was providing something you'd actually want to eat - which was rare.

I always felt sorry for the kids who had hot lunches everyday - because like your cheese sandwiches, you knew they were poor.  Even when I was like 7, I understood the whole "subsidized" concept.  It didn't help that they got to line up to go first to lunch.  I think it was in part to make them feel better, and in part because they had to go stand in line and wait while we could just plop down and open our lunch boxes.  But they were nevertheless separated out.  Having to wait was still better than being poor.

Lunch boxes.  Now, not ever having had a lunch box - that would be sad.  All kids should get lunch boxes!

I myself love cheese sandwiches.  I suspect the poor kids I went to school with have trauma related to hot school lunches.  Those hot lunches were seriously gross.  They made hospital meals look gourmet.  

Honestly - this is the first time I have ever heard of any kid not liking cheese sandwiches.  I had no idea!

High school was a different matter.  It was more food-court like.  I don't know how anyone kept track of who was getting fed.  Not to mention lunch was when kids snuck out to the parking lot to smoke.

Anyway, feed the kids already.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 11:14:24 AM EST
Honestly - this is the first time I have ever heard of any kid not liking cheese sandwiches.

I know!  And, oddly, I love cheese!  I'll have it grilled or on any number of combo sandwiches, but just the thought of that specific cheese/mustard/white-bread combo makes me ill.

Lunchboxes are a whole nother matter.  I longed for a Partridge Family lunch box.  Sadly, mine was tartan.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 04:33:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens to the lactose intolerant kids?  Won't somebody please think of the children?!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 04:44:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is America, In Wales.  "Lactose intolerance" is part of the Gay Agenda or something.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 07:55:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I was in school, there were obligatory milk breaks.  There was one girl in my class who could not have milk, so she was allowed to have whatever it was she had instead of milk.  Where do lactose intolerant children get the calcium they need for their bones?

Also, if a child is so poor his or her family cannot afford to feed them, what are the chances they'll complain of lactose intolerance?  I mean, I am not being a smart ass, I am really wondering what the numbers are.  It seems that dietary restrictions tend to show up more often in people who have access to a wide variety of foods.  They may be too hungry to complain about a stomach ache.  

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 02:43:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Soya milk now often has added calcium and vitamins without being expensive.

A slight intolerance may only give stomach ache but a serious intolerance causes really nasty systemic problems which certainly for me impeded my education because I was too ill to concentrate properly and was always off sick.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 at 03:34:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Socialist Sweden we had Free and Obligatory lunches at school. It was part of the curriculum in the early grades, with enforcement of good manners.

Grades 1-3: Eat at your assigned seat place with good table manners, and the teacher at the head of the table. 20 minutes enforced sitting at the table, even if you finished earlier. (So that no one hurries their lunch to get the best swing at post lunch play time.) And do finish that food! No leaving the lunch room without finishing your plate! No food choices either. You ate what was served, at the prescribed portion size.

Grades 4-6: Again, assigned seating, but with two teachers supervising the whole room rather than one for each class. A little less surveillance means you can try to hide some of the uneaten food in the potted plants next to the tables. And get told off for the same. Again, 20 minutes before you can leave the lunch room. And some days you have to help wash the dishes.

Grades 7-9: Food lunch is served free of charge to all, but you no longer have to eat it. You may bring lunch, go home to eat, choose your own portion size, etc. No more assigned seating, no more enforced time in the lunch room. But by then, kids were no longer in a hurry to leave.

High School: Our town was cutting back on school lunch expenses, and lunch was only half paid for. Eat or not, where you want, you are on your own.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 11:39:30 AM EST
Eww - I think that "obligatory" bit is torture.  My first school did that.  They gave up on me after I threw up on a teacher's shoes in 1st grade.  

That said, I probably could've used some manners enforcement.  My first civilized boyfriend had to teach me to properly hold a fork in my teens.  I'm still uncomfortable in nice restaurants.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 04:37:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Socialist Norway never had school meals, except for a few years after the war when times were very hard for most people.  Even then it was only optional school breakfast...milk and sandwiches and a piece of carrot or half an apple.  

Today children get milk and fruit (free for all) to go with their packed lunch.

Lunch is often consumed outside, and I don't think teachers bother about manners.  Norwegians generally don't have manners, so teachers would have to be trained themselves before they could teach.

Swedes are so much more polite than Norwegians - now I understand why:-)
   

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 07:27:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We used to get milk or apples during the morning break, don't know if they still do it and it was free.
by Fran on Sat Feb 28th, 2009 at 01:10:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Wales | Row over school breakfast scheme
Less than 10% of primary schools in Wales are offering their pupils a free breakfast, a year after the scheme was introduced by the assembly government.

Figures show 148 out of a possible 1,588 primaries will offer their pupils a free breakfast by the end of the autumn term

Haven't found more recent information although an evaluation of this scheme is being done.

I do wish that schools wouldn't make children drink milk though.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 28th, 2009 at 03:40:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But subsidised milk is such a great way to use all those CAP-funded cows...

Also, it provides an opportunity for branding and marketing of milk producers in a school environment that's so desperately underprovided in that department, compared to the rest of society.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 28th, 2009 at 03:52:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My only experience with school lunch was in the US, which for me was fun and I was to overwhelmed with new impressions to register much about what is going on, besides at the beginning not speaking the language.

In Switzerland there was no school lunch, we always went home for lunch and then back to school. I think this is still the same way. If the mother works the kids might eat with some relatives or what we call a "Tagesmutter" (daymother) often the mother of another kid in school. The bigger ones might probably migth bring their lunch and eat it with some friends - but I am a little out of the loop, so am not quite sure how it is handled today.

by Fran on Sat Feb 28th, 2009 at 01:09:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In France a mayor attempted to have the school provide cold food instead of the standard hot meal for kids whose parents were late in paying for their lunch - and the rucus that followed showed that this wasn't really accepted in France...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Mar 1st, 2009 at 10:40:53 AM EST


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