Re: FCPS lunches suck now thanks
Date: November 24, 2014 06:43AM
Every school district has a lot of discretion over how it wants to comply with federal laws on school lunches. That's why some people remember delicious school lunches from the 1980s and other people remember brown, greasy mush.
Retired FCPS teachers say that in the 1970s FCPS used to cook its school lunches from scratch, and the food was good enough that many teachers happily ate it. Sometime in the 1980s, Penny McConnell began running the FCPS cafeteria program, and the food quality began slipping. She replaced meals prepared on site with unappetizing frozen food, which the cafeteria workers defrosted in warming ovens.
Warmed-over slop became the typical FCPS meal long before Obama became president. That's why the percentage of FCPS students voluntarily purchasing the warmed-over slop kept declining.
Penny McConnell's reputation might be adversely affected if the data showed a free fall in the percentage of FCPS students buying lunch. So, FCPS propped up its school lunch participation rates a few years ago by offering free lunches to students who only qualified for reduced-price meals. That FCPS policy is running through the school system's dedicated reserves for Food and Nutrition Services, which otherwise could have been used to improve the quality of the food that is served to all students.
Federal law now requires schools to serve healthier food, but doesn't tell school systems how to do that. FCPS could serve delicious freshly-baked whole wheat rolls, or it could serve stale whole wheat bread that never tasted good even when it was first baked. FCPS could serve freshly-washed and cut lettuce, peppers and other vegetables in salad bars, or it could serve pre-packaged salads with wilted and slimy ingredients that have been sitting around too long.
Students who don't like what they are being served should contact Penny McConnell and her subordinates, who run FCPS Food and Nutrition Services. If your school serves you disgusting food, don't assume that it's the fault of the guy who manages your school cafeteria. He is probably just following orders.