Toledo Talk

Did I read that right?

Now, the law requires students to gather food first and pay at the end of the line.

This is from an article in the Blade at

Really? The feds are micromanaging to the point of telling schools where the cashier has to be in the lunch room? I suppose it's all in an effort to make sure the meal is 'healthy', but its ridiculous the level of micromanagement that is going on, IMO.

created by MsArcher on Sep 04, 2014 at 08:32:55 am     Comments: 11

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...why wouldn't you require people to gather their items first, then pay for them? I couldn't get the link to open, so maybe there's more to it that I'm missing, but I don't understand why it would ever be set up differently.

posted by Johio83 on Sep 04, 2014 at 08:45:53 am     #  

Johio83, the point is why do they need a law requiring it t be done that way?

They can require it at the site just by setting it up in that order, but is an actual LAW needed here?

Overkill, personified.

posted by shamrock44 on Sep 04, 2014 at 10:19:38 am     #   1 person liked this

See if this link works.


But keep in mind that school lunch rooms, especially at the lower grades, operate differently than a regular retail cafeteria. At the younger ages, you get what they serve, period, there are no options.

posted by MsArcher on Sep 04, 2014 at 10:49:42 am     #  

MrsArcher-Outrage for outrage sake is a bit of a waste of time. What's the problem other than the government being involved in government subsidized programs? Hmm, let's google to see what we find-

Well, this-

So, what this basically says, in addition to a ton of history, is that the Federal Goverment, while helping to pay for more and healthier meals, is requiring A) accountability for everything given to every student, which stops school districts from jobbing the system (something everyone should be able to get behind) and to better account for reimbursement of funding. B) makes schools keep this a not for profit venture.

In a nutshell, every food item has a different cost to produce or transport, by tallying things up at the end, it displays better tracking, efficiency and fiscal responsibility. Not to mention all of the other practical and social benefits from tracking what your kids are eating to not embarrassing poor kids.

Although, maybe we should just privatize the whole thing...

posted by ahmahler on Sep 04, 2014 at 11:32:26 am     #   6 people liked this

Excerpts from the story :

The new lunchbox system was set up to enable students to purchase meals on a credit account.

Parents can place funds on that account -- via If no funds are available, it will allow the food purchase and keep track of what is owed.

Mr. Shamy said that, before he started in his position in 2012, children would pay first and then go through the cafeteria line. If a student didn’t have funds, it was not noticeable.

Now, the law requires students to gather food first and pay at the end of the line.

In some instances, he explained, if a student could not afford the lunch they selected, the cashier could switch it out for a cheese sandwich. Students in line could notice the switch.

“Students would grab all their food, get to the end of the line, and have no money,” he said. “And you embarrass them with a cheese sandwich. And then what do you do with the food on the tray? This is food hospitality. You do not embarrass them.”

The [new] law also required that government-subsidized entrees have three of the five food groups of bread, milk, vegetables, fruit, and a protein.

The district’s Mosaic system, which is new software costing $15,000, will allow students to charge up to $10 before it contacts the family for payment. If the balance increases to $20, his office will take further action and will ask the family if there are any circumstances affecting payment.

I find this whole thing offensive.

Toward cheese sandwiches.

Obviously, the school official needs sensitivity training and a cooking class to prevent disparaging cheese sandwiches in the future.

Maybe the students could maintain a produce garden and learn where some food originates. Maintain a sourdough starter. Make simple cheeses like mozzarella and ricotta. Understand the science like biology that's involved with making bread and cheese.

Naturally-leavened sourdough bread that is at least 50% whole grain combined with one or more high quality cheeses, and at this time of the year, a couple slices of a fresh, locally-grown tomato makes for a fine sandwich. Or toast it like a grilled cheese or "cheese toastwich" and add a side of homemade ketchup.

Maybe the school needs to be more creative or innovative with their cheese sandwiches.

Here's a cheese sandwich idea that I need to try with our garden / farmers market products, along with homemade peanut butter. Apparently, this was a winning sandwich.

Makes one sandwich. Layer the ingredients in the order given.

It turns out there was a secret order, after all: Cheese on top, then tomato, cucumber, onion and crunchy peanut butter on the bottom. Olesen is still mystified why the order matters so much.

Top: slice of whole grain bread
- 4-6 thin slices white sharp cheddar cheese
- Tomato, thinly sliced
- Cucumber, thinly sliced
- Vidalia or red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
Bottom: slice of whole grain bread

posted by jr on Sep 04, 2014 at 12:37:50 pm     #  

Actually... I really like the idea of students learning to grow and cook their own food as a regular part of high school. I really like Anthony Bourdain's take on Home Economics - instead of getting rid of Home Ec to even out the classes boys and girls took, we should have made it a class everyone had to take.

posted by Johio83 on Sep 04, 2014 at 12:46:35 pm     #  

In Michigan Home Ec was required in junior high school.

posted by MIJeff on Sep 04, 2014 at 12:52:04 pm     #  

The home ec I had to take in 8th grade was useless for the most part. We sewed a pillow (the only halfway useful project), but then had to make a macrame plant holder, some sort of floral / craft project with popsicle sticks, and whatever the hell they had us bake nobody wanted to eat because it tasted awful (some sort of "cookie"). 16 weeks, one day a week, and done.

Home ec could be all about learning to cook an egg, use a stove, do basic home repairs, car repairs, manage money/checking account, etc. That to me would be much more useful than the stupid _Good Housekeeping" crafts we were forced to do.

posted by oldhometown on Sep 04, 2014 at 02:16:35 pm     #   1 person liked this

This is all a tall order (no pun intended) for kids who get a 20-minute lunch break.

It would be nice if our school lunches were more like this:

posted by Anniecski on Sep 04, 2014 at 04:07:26 pm     #  

In order for schools to receive credit in the meal programs, a whole grain rich food must contain at least 51% whole grains and the remaining grain content of the product must be enriched. Cheese has to be reduced sodium and there's so much more....It's real interesting reading. US Dept. of AG Federal Register Volume 77, No. 17. "Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs; Final Rule.

posted by llz on Sep 04, 2014 at 04:34:03 pm     #  

One problem I can see, although I'm half blind just now, is that any parent is prohibited from showing up in the cafeteria unannounced, ordering a lunch and proclaiming what everyone else should know: This isn't food, this is garbage.

And having the statement make a difference in the food quality. Let us not forget just who the hell is paying for this slop.

This thread triggered a memory of another problem in the cafeteria: Back to School!

Savita Jindal, the Sylvania school systems food service director was unjustifiably fired. Jindal sued and won a judgement of over $500,000. The basis of the suit was poor software. Now we read in the fine print,

The district’s Mosaic system, which is new software costing $15,000...

Another $15 large for new software? Did the school system get a refund on the old system that failed to work?

Is the Bored of Education out to lunch?

posted by madjack on Sep 04, 2014 at 04:57:54 pm     #