Quinoa is in, corn dogs are out, on Palo Alto's school-lunch menus | August 16, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - August 16, 2013

Quinoa is in, corn dogs are out, on Palo Alto's school-lunch menus

After parent push for fresher fare, district moves cautiously on reform

by Chris Kenrick

Prices are up by a quarter or two, but food will be fresher in school lunch programs across Palo Alto this fall.

This story contains 808 words.

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Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at ckenrick@paweekly.com.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 9:42 am

With the ethnic diversity we have in Palo Alto, our schools can only offer a very limited choice which is unlikely to suit all cultures.

Saying that, I remember my school days when there was very limited choice and bringing lunch from home was not allowed. It did mean that we all learned to eat what we were given or go hungry. The food was not that bad although we all complained, but I don't remember anyone being hungry or being obese either.

Posted by Brian, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:55 am

The main reason we don't use the lunch program is there is a lot of trash associated with it. I like the move to healthier food. My son might not.

Posted by Nutrition First, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 16, 2013 at 11:23 am

Dr. Skelly was wrong (as is everyone else thinking the way he does) in focusing on "cost control". Everything has a cost. Your health is your true wealth; consequently, when you are faced with crappy food devoid of nutrients simply to control costs, everyone is a loser.

It is possible to provide good nutritious food at an affordable price but the desire to make it happen by a dedicated group of people is necessary to reach this end. I don't think that "Bosco Sticks"and their like are really the kind of foods we should be feeding our children if we want to provide their brains with adequate fuel to learn well.
Unfortunately, I would guess that a good percentage of children using the school lunch program are from the less financially well-endowed families hence those children receiving the free or reduced cost (don't know if this is a option) lunches suffer the most. Thanks to those that have helped make even this small improvement a reality.

I am sure that the kids will learn to love edamame!

Posted by Keep-Costs-Low!, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 11:55 am

> Dr. Skelly was wrong (as is everyone else thinking the way he
> does) in focusing on "cost control"

How absurd! Of course the Superintendent of Education needs to be concerned about cost control, as should every taxpayer--who funds this district.

The cavalier attitude that money is no object, and someone else can pay the bill is clearly a cancer that has infested the nation. Expecting the District to spend $10-$20/meal is crazy-talk. The District has not been able to control costs in its food-service program, in large part, because of the high cost of labor in this department.

Posted by Diane, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Rebecca Scholl has been tireless in her leadership of and commitment to changing PAUSD's food service. Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to Rebecca and the dozens of parents she has engaged in this effort during the last two years. Real, fresh food, sustainably grown and locally sourced whenever possible, makes for healthier kids, better school performance and a more resilient community.

Posted by Pamela, a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I agree with Rebecca that sitting down for a meal and not standing in a hallway (especially) in middle schools is a civilized way of nourishing ones mind and body. Don't all of the schools have cafeteria and or cafetorium to sit and eat properly as well as contain the mess of eating in a hallway. Perhaps the janitors can rally around keeping the students in the cafeteria for meals albeit school or home made lunch in order to keep the campus cleaner. Just saying!
Thanks Rebecca for always putting your best foot forward and thinking about all of our children not to say that other parents aren't but some how that sweet French accent made a difference.

Posted by Ap parent, a resident of JLS Middle School
on Aug 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm

I, too, thank Rebecca for her persistence and caring. The food should be healthy AND taste good, and this tasting event showed the dedication to achieving both.

Unfortunately, while all the schools do have cafeteria rooms, they are usually mulipurpose rooms. Consequently, they never have tables set up, and places for the kids to eat at a table are few.

I was at JLS one muddy day last year during lunch, and had to step around clusters of students huddled on the dirty floors, nowhere better to eat. It was like something from the third world. (JLS flooded every winter so the floors were always filthy when it rained.)

So that aspect has a ways to go. But kudos for tackling the food freshness and healthiness!

Posted by Wendy, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Thanks to everyone who is spearheading this effort. I think going with more nutritious, organic, meals is great. I have one daughter who would never eat the lunches at school and one daughter who can't resist. So, knowing she is eating better lunches at school is great!!!!

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