Information on proposed school lunch food service - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Information on proposed school lunch food service

The following is a press release from the Calcasieu Parish School Board:

There is a vast amount of misinformation circulating around the parish concerning a proposed food service plan for next year. CPSB is exploring the possibility of bringing in an outside food company to provide meals for our elementary and middle schools. Preferred Meals, Inc. is the name of the company from Illinois. This company has been operating in the United States for 40 years and is currently working in 26 states. They serve 1.9 million meals a day across the United States. Some of the larger districts they are in are San Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami, Boston, St. Louis, and Chicago.

The major concerns that we have heard are:

• meals not meeting nutritional values
• meals with too much sodium
• meals would be like a TV dinner and being cooked in a microwave oven
• meals coming from out-of-state
• meals being pre-cooked
• loss of jobs

The facts are:

• All meals will meet or exceed the federal guidelines on nutritional values, contains zero trans gram of fat and are low in sodium.
• Entrees and side dishes are the only pre-cooked and frozen dishes.
• Preferred Meals will purchase fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, whole wheat bread, cookies, and other snacks locally that will be provided with the meals.
• The meals are cooked in the oven and not a microwave oven.
• The pre-cooked portion of our meals will be coming from out-of-state.
• We have been preparing frozen foods in our cafeteria for a long time. Presently, we have a majority of frozen foods coming from out-of-state such as juices from Texas, chicken patties from Georgia, fish sticks from Massachusetts, French fries from North Dakota, pancake sandwiches from New York, fully cooked pancakes from Wisconsin, cookie dough from New York, pizza products from Minnesota, frozen vegetables from Arkansas, and processed pork products from Ohio.
• Many of our breakfast items are pre-cooked including scrambled eggs at times.

The downside to this proposal is the loss of cafeteria jobs. There is always a concern when anyone loses their job. We have had to cut teaching positions over the past few years and will have to look at that possibility again this year. If the decision is made to go with this plan, all efforts will be made to employ anyone that loses a job in some other capacity where one is available. Whether we go with this food service program or not will be a decision that the Board will make. Whatever that decision is, the Board will have the best interest of the system in mind.


 

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