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Who is most responsible for ensuring public school children eat a healthy lunch?

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Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


CreatureComforts 6 years, 10 months ago

I'd really like to meet the people who think the Federal Government has more responsibility in raising a child than the child's own parents do...

Scratch that, I'd rather not.

liberallibrarian 6 years, 10 months ago

I checked "other" because although I ultimately believe that the responsibility falls to the parent, I think it should be parents and schools working together. If there are days when the parent isn't able to pack a lunch for the child (no time, not home, etc)- the alternative at school should be as healthy as possible. That said, since all parents have a different idea of what is healthy and what is not (see plastics argument above), the final responsibility is the parents'. Personally, I would rather my child eat a salad off of a plastic plate than some other unhealthy meal off of a "safer" plate.

appleaday 6 years, 10 months ago

It's everyone's responsibility. Remember, children don't get to choose their parents and not all parents are good parents. It should be the responsibility of the parents, but when they can't or won't do the right thing, those of us who care about children should step in to help. Schools should offer healthy foods and can help children learn to make healthy choices as they grow up. In the long run, our society pays for unhealthy eating -- obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are costly in many ways.

independent_rebel 6 years, 10 months ago

No, it's not everyone's responsiblity. It is the parents first and foremost, and then the schools. You said it yourself: "...but when they can't or won't do the right thing, those of us who care about children should step in and help." Well, I love kids, but don't take my money via taxes to pay for some kids lunch, especially if they are here illegally.

Did you know that the Lawrence school district took taxpayer money to provide free lunches (and breakfasts?) this summer to ANY child, regardless of financial need. In fact, there was a story that discussed concern that so few children were taking advantage of this. I say, GREAT! I hope it saved us thousands of dollars.

Parents need to parent. I take care of my kids, you take care of your kids. If I choose to help out a kid--and I have--that is my right, but don't force me into responsibility to financially take care of your child, or your pet, or your illegal. Enough is enough. That is why this country is in the shape it is in. Entitlements. Nothing else is the reason.

MarcoPogo 6 years, 10 months ago

"Well, I love kids, but don't take my money via taxes to pay for some kids lunch, especially if they are here illegally."

Now we're getting to the bottom of things.

llama726 6 years, 10 months ago

"Well, I love kids, but don't take my money via taxes to pay for some kids lunch, especially if they are here illegally."

Take mine. Don't take mine to fight a war I don't agree with. Far more of my dollars went to that last year than to feeding a kid. And guess what? Good for you for your generosity. But not everyone is so generous. Most people aren't. And even those that are, you have to hope that someone is nice enough to take their money and give it to a charity that cares enough to come to Kansas. Or hope that Kansans are generous enough. And it's not nearly as effective (I know, government inefficiency, etc) as simply having the government distribute it.

I don't care about your racism. Good for you for standing up against horrible illegal immigrants by wanting for their kids to go hungry.

independent_rebel 6 years, 10 months ago

First, you have no idea what my background is. Second, did I say I want any kids to go hungry? No. What I'm saying is that it is not our government's roll to feed children, adults, animals, pets, etc. I don't care where they come from, but the first thing that must stop is giving any type of assistance for those here illegally while others who are here legally get the shaft.

The country does not have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem. The first place to start is to stop spending a penny on those here illegally. No more free or reduced healthcare, schools fees, housing, food stamps, etc..

I thought the war in Iraq was ridiculous, and a total waste of money. But people need to look at all areas that need to be defunded.

But, if it came down to providing TAXPAYER money to a poor black, white, or latino child who is here legally, or providing that money to one here illegally, I say give the support to the legal child. I'm all for private support for a number of causes.

llama726 6 years, 10 months ago

Our government's role* isn't to feed pets. Okay. How does that relate to this point? It doesn't. No one in here has mentioned pets, except for you. Stay focused.

Stop giving assistance to those here illegally? How about stop giving tax breaks to businesses, then? Because who is hiring illegal immigrants? Businesses. You have to punish businesses that hire them. Severely. Or else they'll just keep doing it.

This country has both a revenue and a spending problem. The amount spent on "those here illegally" pales in comparison to the amount of revenue missed by allowing tax loopholes that benefit the wealthiest and the largest corporations. Under your solution, we'll need to shift the money to law enforcement, because people won't just stop eating or trying to survive. Hope you can find room in your new budget for more prisons. Oh, and then you have to feed them. And house them. So...

People do need to look at ALL of the areas that need to be defunded. That includes corporate subsidies. The largest pieces of the pie go to defense, but we give lucrative contracts to private businesses all the time. Why? Because business owns the government right now.

I love your last comment. "I'm not racist." Cool. Maybe not. You just think that the 7 year old kid shouldn't get to eat a school lunch because their mom and / or dad made a decision to move here illegally. The solution is always to stop making things better. That's what I object to. That's always the solution, and it's not a solution. The solution isn't to become hardened, cynical people who would rather let a kid starve than let their parents work for $3.50 an hour and have their kids go to school and have a chance to do things the right way (a chance that they never have). We can't try to relate with the situation. They aren't here legally and that's all you care about. Fine. A child is a child is a child. I don't care. If they're in America, and in school already, we're far better suited to make sure they have access to food and shelter and schools than to just put them on the street.

sulliedotcom 6 years, 10 months ago

The fact that even 12% thinks the government is repsonsible makes me very scared to send my kids to public schools.

llama726 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm glad that you are wealthy enough and / or work a flexible enough job to be able to stay home and educate your child. That's not reality for most people.

Shelly Rodriguez 6 years, 10 months ago

When children are at home then most definitely it is the parents responsibility to make sure their children get the most possible healthy meal but when their child is at school then it is totally up to the school to make every possible effort that the student get the healthiest meal possible (don't we pay annual fees). It should be a partnership to keep our children eating healthy . To put it solely on one or the other COMPLETELY is insane!!

Charlie Bannister 6 years, 10 months ago

The fact that Journal World has to even ask this question demonstrates how we are so very far away from where we need to be. I am 51, and I NEVER had anything given to me at school in the way of food. I ate breakfast before I left the house in the morning, walked to school, ate my sack lunch (very healthy usually) at lunch period, and then came home and ate dinner in the evening. Sometimes if we had a little extra, I might buy lunch (no one GAVE us any thing) at the school cafeteria instead of bringing my lunch. I grew up to be strong and athletic. Let's think about this people. Why are we spending so much money feeding kids at school? It is another ridiculous waste of taxpayer resources, and an abdication of parental responsibility.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

It takes a community to raise a child. Can the school district be trusted to provide the most healthy food choices?

  1. Take a look at the vending machine choices = mostly phoney food and soda pop

  2. Lunches are no longer prepared on site = outsourced I assume.

  3. Parents have little to say or simply don't say.

  4. Parents could be required to prepare lunches with few exceptions. This is not a new concept and was rather successful when I was a kid.

  5. Want a healthy lunch for your child in today's climate? I say brown bag it.

Isn't it odd. Never enough money for healthy food and teachers but always plenty of money for new athletic facilities for a small number of students. Are athletics that healthy considering damaged joints,broken bones,expanded hearts and concussions?

bevy 6 years, 10 months ago

FYI, Federal nutrition standards for schools prohibit the sale of any "phony food" or soda in vending machines at schools during school hours. They have tightened the regulations on this much more, recently.

Reta Cosby 6 years, 10 months ago

This country is the way it is because of ruthless, heartless, money-grubbers who have no idea or consideration of the concept of family, neighbor, community, country or nation under God. Don't settle down here. Keep you flyer miles ticking, keep your conceited opinions to yourself, and let love abide.

Clinton Laing 6 years, 10 months ago

So... you have a point, in there somewhere?

usnsnp 6 years, 10 months ago

Should be all levels, Federal?State should set the overall nutritional requirements, School district and parents should get together and set the specificsd, school district should hold informational meetings with parents explaning their reasons for serving what they do, parents should input to school district about food that is served, parents should teach their children about proper nutrition.

notanota 6 years, 10 months ago

The kids most likely to have poor nutrition - ie the poorest are the same kids who rely the most on the school nutrition plan. I have the option to pack lunches for my kids (which I do) but not every parent has that financial luxury. Those free/reduced lunches should be something other than SoaS, and our schools should take the time to teach these kids how to eat something other than Doritos and Twinkies. You can blame negligent parents if you'd like, but we're the ones that ultimately pay when those kids get diabetes.

short_one 6 years, 10 months ago

If a person can't afford to FEED the children they have, they should STOP having said children. You don't see very many only-child families not able to feed that one child.

Katara 6 years, 10 months ago

The children are already here. Preventing future pregnancies does not do anything for feeding children who are here now.

llama726 6 years, 10 months ago

Thank you for this utterly useless stereotype. Poor people sometimes have more than one kid. Good work. They also have less education (less sex education), less access to birth control, and a smaller amount of resources. They aren't able to go get abortions if they get pregnant because they're more likely to be religious. There are so many more nuances and complexities. If a person can't afford to FEED the children they have, they should stop having kids. Great work. And if they could feed their kids until they lost their jobs two years ago, then what? They should have put more in savings? Not my problem? That's what our whole country has become. "It's not my problem." It's about to be everyone's problem.

But, by all means. It's because they have too many kids. That really helps us now, like Katara says below, that the kids are already here.

chootspa 6 years, 10 months ago

So they're supposed to starve their existing children rather than feed them cafeteria tater tots? Or did you just want to take a chance to revel in classism. Yes, shorty, you're sooo superior to those icky poor families.

squawkhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Anything less than 99.9% of this falling on parents or guardians would be ridiculous.

dogsandcats 6 years, 10 months ago

It is the parent or guardian's responsibility to teach their children to make healthy nutrition choices, however it is the school district's responsibility to provide healthy meals to the students.

Katara 6 years, 10 months ago

It might help if kids had more than 15-20 minutes to eat their lunches. Having to scarf down your lunch is not healthy either. Having to eat too fast leads to overeating because they don't have a chance to recognize that they are already full.

Katara 6 years, 10 months ago

Lunches are scheduled to be 25 minutes long but once the child gets through line (even if they are just buying milk to go with a sack lunch), it can get down to only 15-20 minutes to eat.

How can we teach children how to eat properly when we don't give them enough time to do so?

llama726 6 years, 10 months ago

Very true. But we are preparing them for a reality in the working world, where many entry-level positions do not afford more than thirty minutes for lunch. It's an indictment of our society. Perhaps we need to free up some time - not just for kids - because we should be leading by example.

Centerville 6 years, 10 months ago

"It should be the responsibility of the parents, but when they can't or won't do the right thing, those of us who care about children should step in to help. " Now that is creepy. Every phrase, as well as the sentiment in its entirety.

beatrice 6 years, 10 months ago

Parents aren't with their children 24/7. Just because a parent sends a kid to school with a healthy lunch doesn't mean that child will eat it, especially if the school is selling cheap pizza, hamburgers and fries, and calling ketchup a vegetable. Schools should not be allowed to offer junk food to children, and ultimately as voters it is up to parents to demand nutritional meals.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 10 months ago

Amen Beatrice!! Parents should monitor what the schools are feeding their kids. If it's not acceptable to you, do something besides complain.

Katara 6 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence schools do a pretty good job of offering choices to kids for school lunches. You also get a menu for the month so you can decide if you want them to eat the school lunch or pack one for them.

You can also see what type of meals they are purchasing by going online. https://www.mynutrikids.com/Login.aspx

You can also keep the kids from purchasing other things (such as cookies or a slice of pizza) by letting the school know that you do not want an ala carte option for your child.

Of course, it is practically impossible to stop tradsies.

bevy 6 years, 10 months ago

If you want to know what really goes on in the school lunch program (not all the hyperbole being posted above) check it out here:

bevy 6 years, 10 months ago

In case you don't feel like looking it up, here are a few snippets: "Regulations require that all school breakfasts meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In addition, breakfasts must provide one-fourth (1/4) of the daily recommended levels for protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and calories. "

"To meet USDA nutrition requirements, local sponsors choose the menus and food preparation methods used. Regulations establish a standard for school lunches to provide one-third (1/3) of the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories. Regulations also require schools to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that no more than 30 percent of an individual's calories come from fat, and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. "

llama726 6 years, 10 months ago

Whose responsibility? That's on your kid, or kids. And you should help them become responsible enough to do that.

But that has nothing to do with the question above. Apples and oranges. Just as the school sees your children for 7-8 hours per day during the school year - it's not your responsibility to make sure they are being taught math. That's on the school that agrees to teach them.

love2bike 6 years, 10 months ago

Parents should be responsible, but too many times the parents aren't "responsible" enough to even get the kids to school, let alone feeding them. Result? We pay higher taxes because the schools feed the kids so the kids pay attention in class so that the school can pass standardized tests. And then we wonder why we have increased government spending. If you want to be a parent, be responsible and don't expect the village to raise your kids.

llama726 6 years, 10 months ago

"We pay higher taxes because the schools feed the kids..."

You pay higher taxes because the government is unwilling to roll back cuts made for those who are much, much wealthier than you. The same people who are engineering the standardized test movement you've complained about. The same people who have dictated that the talking point be about how things cost more now, the same people

Kids need adequate nutrition to learn and develop. Anyone who has taken an introductory psychology class could tell you that. If you are a parent who can take care of your kids, take care of your kids. You control the 16 hours a day your kid is with you. The other 8 are at the school. It's better for your kid if the other kids are doing well in his or her school. You have an investment in their success (as does society).

independent_rebel 6 years, 10 months ago

We pay higher taxes because too many people get free stuff, rich and poor. Both need to learn to make it on their own.

When liberals are in charge the government is unwilling to roll back entitlements to those who do little to nothing to earn them, and in fact would face a harsher life if they actually tried to do minimal work to earn it. That is a messed up system right there.

When conservatives are in charge they watch out for their rich friends and keep the loopholes opened wide.

The difference is that even when conservatives are in charge there are too many entitlements for those who don't work as a way of life (but are capable of doing so) or who are here illegally.

In other words, liberal or conservative, the middle get the shaft.

somedude20 6 years, 10 months ago

It is God and Jesus's problem after all they made us and stuff so the buck stops with them. Jesus, you let my kid get fat and I am going to sue you!!!! God, why did you allow us to make soda and msgs'?

Centerville 6 years, 10 months ago

It is interesting, with all the gardens and federal butinskiness and community emotionality and miles of newsprint - all about what children are served at school lunch. Hardly ever see anything anymore about how well they're reading or doing math - just an obsession with the lunches. Have we lowered our expectations or are we just going to focus on the tangential?

llama726 6 years, 10 months ago

There are many, many, MANY more miles of print about academic results. Sometimes, issues have more layers than what you see directly on top, champ.

kernal 6 years, 10 months ago

According to a 2009 U.S. Census report published last September, the poverty rate for children has been steadily rising. The 2009 stats were 20.7% for children under the age of 18. I assume the 2010 report will be published next month and given the economy, I'm guessing it will be at least 21.5% for 2010.

I think 1 out of 5 children living in poverty is pretty darned significant.

Bleubird 6 years, 10 months ago

Who is responsible? How about all of the above? Parents to provide the meal or make sure the right choices are available for the meal, and help educate the child on good nutritional choices; Child to make sure he/she makes healthy food choices; School to give the child an appropriate time, setting and opportunity to eat a good meal, and to provide nutrition education; and Government to offer appropriate nutritious choices if meals are to be provided or subsidized.

Reuben Turner 6 years, 10 months ago

i think they all should work together. and when the parent finds that her child is not receiving a balanced meal from the school then he/ she should take action on ensuring that it is happening.

ivalueamerica 6 years, 10 months ago

I realize why parent was the first choice, but seriously, they need something to choose from. The option must exist from the school district before the parents can work with their children to make a choice.

I am not saying that the dialogue and actions between the parent and the child are NOT the most important, they are....but since school lunch is part of the tax package we pay, then that is who we pay to provide the options.

love2bike 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm tired of paying high taxes and supporting people who are not responsible. Instead, the government encourages people to have kids they can't afford and can't support. Doesn't do much for the school to feed the kids if the parents have checked out the other 16 hours of the day. We are too dependent on government.

Centerville 6 years, 10 months ago

I think that Michelle OBama and Kathleen Sibileus should be in charge of this. / snort

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