Archive for Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First Bell: Three more board candidates ready to chat online; candidate forum set for tonight; volunteers sought for ‘food backpack’ program

March 22, 2011


Some education-oriented items from around the area, and beyond:

With Election Day now two weeks away, we’re continuing our ongoing series of online chats with candidates for the Lawrence school board.

Today’s scheduled participants are Ola Faucher, at 11 a.m.; and Jim Clark, at 12:30 p.m. Scheduled for Wednesday is Tyler Palmer, at 1 p.m.

Anyone interested in asking a question may submit a question in advance, or during a chat itself. Just follow the link or links at the side of this story.

I’ll serve as moderator for the three remaining chats, just as I have done for the previous six. You can read transcripts of those chats, also by following the links alongside this story.

The nine candidates are campaigning for election to occupy four available seats on the board. Winners will take office in July.

In-person advance voting continues now through noon April 4. The general election is April 5.


The Voter Education Coalition will be conducting a live forum today for candidates for the Lawrence school board.

The forum is set for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

All nine candidates are scheduled to participate, either in person or through representatives.


Packets of tuna salad, cups of peaches and individual servings of green beans will be among the foods available this summer for more than 500 students in Lawrence public schools, through a new program financed by the federal government.

The Lawrence school district is among six districts to join ECKAN in sharing $246,173 approved for Food Backpack Demonstration projects, announced Monday by USDA.

The Lawrence district is slated to receive about $100,000, enough to feed 550 students two meals per weekend for 11 weeks, beginning in June. Meals will be provided in self-serve portions, ones that won’t require refrigeration.

Peggy McAdoo, child nutrition consultant for the Kansas State Department of Education, said that the district would be reimbursed for meals provided beyond the district’s normal summer food program, which provides meals weekdays at sites including the Boys & Girls Club, East Lawrence Recreation Center and South Park Recreation Center.

And these will be meals kids can take home.

“Children do better if they can have good nutrition over the weekend,” McAdoo said. “This allows an opportunity to have that continuum of good nutrition for the children.”

Paula Murrish, the district’s division director for food services, printing and purchasing, said that she would be getting details about the grant during the next week to 10 days. But she’s certain on one thing: Organizers will need some help packing the bags for the program, which will be expected to begin June 3.

“We need volunteers to help put those together,” she said, noting that the prepackaged foods would make matters easier than by working in bulk. “We can put 2,000 together and get a month’s done.”

Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Murrish or her colleague, Lindsey Morgan, the district’s supervisor and registered dietitian for food services, at 832-5000. They also may be reached via email: or


ksarmychick 4 years, 8 months ago

$100,000/500 students/11 weeks/lunch saturday and sunday=$9.09 a meal. Seems a bit outrageous. I spend less then $2 per lunch that I make my daycare kids and they are healthy meals.

make_a_difference 4 years, 8 months ago

Good to know that there are other providers making quality meals for "their kids". People couldn't believe how well I fed my daycare kids. One mom called to check if what her 3 year old was telling her was correct...did I really make waffles for breakfast, not from a box from the freezer. Another to ask about that days lunch...her daughter was telling her that she liked pork chops...surely that wasn't true...daycare kids getting pork chops for lunch. (they weren't ever on the menu at home) Tax preparer insisted that my food expenditures weren't high enough, even after showing receipts. I found that cooking from scratch was key...rarely served prepackaged foods. And it's really not that difficult or time consuming with preparation & organization...and smart shopping...and the right recipes. I just flat out refused to feed my daycare kids differently than how I fed my own kids.

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