CA Is Out to Lunch

After yesterday’s front page story about Tony Geraci’s new plans for school meals, the morning newspaper decided to top it off today with a glowing editorial.

“…the Shelby County Schools director of food services…will make sure every student involved in sports or other after school programs will be served a free supper – if they want it – when classes start Aug. 5…Geraci, who is a nationally recognized leader in school nutrition, maintains that the program is a no brainer because of the benefit free or reduced price meals have on student achievement, including helping students participating in after school programs perform better in those activities. We agree.

Emply PlateEmply Plate”We also think the district is fortunate to have Geraci, whose innovative efforts to present tasty, healthy meals that use locally produced food items represents the kind of forward thinking that enhances the education of students,” the CA concludes.

Forward thinking as in progressive? Whenever that word is used, like Obama’s campaign slogan “Forward” you’d better watch out. All this forward thinking has made our country last in so many areas, particularly in education. Why are the editors accepting that all this is good?

The statistics they had about breakfast helping kids perform better is really not sourced. If it comes from government studies, you can bet they are worthless. The brotherhood of bureaucrats will do everything it can to help its fellows out. Same with universities. Many of them make these studies favorably to the government to keep that endowment money coming. If the meals are so helpful, why are the scores so low?

Again, they are ignoring facts and figures that taxpayers need to know. How much will this cost? How many new workers plus all their pensions, etc.? Is a central kitchen set up? Where? A few ugly facts might help us know more about Mr. Geraci’s vague plans.

This morning I had occasion to pass Grahamwood school, one of the places Geraci’s food service has gardens. I saw three such greenhouses in the Grahamwood field, but they looked like they were empty. That brings up another point. How do you use the crops the kids are growing when many are not usable during the school year? You might get a pumpkin or two in the fall, but many vegetables aren’t ready til June, July or August. Is this really that helpful?

Before we put all Geraci’s practices into use, how about checking to see if they will really work? Michelle Obama’s lunch choices foisted on kids around the nation have not been very popular with students. They throw lots of it in the garbage. Will that happen here? My daughter did some work with the USDA in Washington. She returned here to ask Memphis school kids how they felt about vegetables. The team was appalled at how little they knew and how their favorite foods tend to be fried. Are we spending more money to fill trash cans with unwanted food?

Perhaps Geraci has a big recylcing plan to take all the extra uneaten food and use it for compost.

But then aren’t we back to where we started – kids with empty stomachs and tax payers who can’t stomach anymore?

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