The delicious meal pictured above was recently served to a 17-year-old student at the Chickasha High School cafeteria. It’s called a “munchable” and is apparently part of Janet Barresi’s new “Eating Worse Than a Prisoner” school lunch program.
Like high school girls tend to do, the student probably posted a pic of the meal on Instagram. It then got her dad’s attention so he called Channel 5 to complain. They then pounced on the story like it was an empty carton of chocolate milk.
Angry parents in Chickasha complain their kids aren’t getting enough to eat at school.
The Holton family says the meal the district calls a “Munchable” is ridiculous and family members say it needs to change.
The meal that daughter Kaytlin Shelton took a photo of Monday consists of lunch meat, a couple crackers, a slice of cheese and two pieces of cauliflower. Schools in Chickasha serve it every other week.
I don’t know about you, but where was the munchable when I was a kid? It sounds delicious. When I went to OKC public schools, my two options for lunch were either a rectangle slice of cardboard-crust pizza cut from a gigantic rectangle tray, or a pair of the world’s saddest tacos made with a mystery meat that you probably wouldn’t feed to a dog. I think they also had rotating daily specials like steamed hamburgers, frozen corn dogs or a McRib ripoff that was shaped like a gingerbread man.
Anyway, what exactly is wrong with the meal? It doesn’t seem that bad based on Chickasha dining standards:
Kaytlin says it’s especially problematic for her because the 17-year-old is eating for two. She’s pregnant with a little girl on the way.
“It makes me want to take that and take it to the Superintendent and tell him to eat it for lunch,” she said.
Kaytlin’s father Vince Holton says the $3 meal is not good enough for any student, much less one eight months pregnant.
“I can go pay a dollar for a lunchable and get more food in it,” he said.
Crap, I forgot that most Oklahoma high school students are pregnant. My old perverted roommate from Chickasha who once held the school record for longest field goal told me they had two lines in the high school cafeteria: the first one was for the pregnant students, the second one was for everyone else. I guess they have changed things up or something since the 1990s.
Anyway, I get the feeling that we’re not getting the whole story here. We’re in the 21st century. School’s have to serve more than just a processed glob of protein and carbs and a piece of cauliflower for lunch. Fortunately, KOCO interviewed the local superintendent to get the other side of the story:
The school district says there are more options on Munchable day such as milk, beans and pears, but Superintendent David Cash agrees there’s a problem. He says it’s thanks to federal regulations to fight childhood obesity, which limit calories per meal based on a student’s age.
Yes, milk, beans and pears. Uhm, did America vote Chickasha High School Students as the “Have Nots” for the week or something? Do they at least get to eat some slop?
So, what’s being done about the problem:
As for the Munchcable? High school students are supposed to get five options at lunch but students only have to accept three. And state nutritional regulators say because of that the meal passes federal guidelines.
“We have a meat-meat alternate, we have a bread grain, we have vegetable,” said Asst. State Superintendent for Child Nutrition Joanie Hildenbrand, looking at the photo she received from Fox 25, “it’s the student’s choice of what they want to take.”
But even she says the federal regulations for maximum calories, sodium and fat are frustrating. Especially because many students don’t eat all of the options.
“These regulations were put into effect two years ago and were still struggling with them.”
There are no exceptions for students who are pregnant or those who are athletes and burn more calories on a daily basis.
Chickasha administrators say as a result they think kids are going hungry at school.
“I know they are,” Superintendent Cash said, “there is no doubt about that. My own kid comes home and the first thing he does is raid the refrigerator.”
And the Holton family says they just want to make sure their kids get the nutrition and calories they need for their growing family.
“Schools are responsible for children while they’re at school,” Kaytlin’s father Vince said, “they’re responsible for feeding the children.”
You know, someone may want to explain to Kaytlin’s dad that the school isn’t the only one responsible for feeding the children. There’s another option. She can bring her own delicious and nutritious lunch to school. I think that’s still allowed. It’s why they make things like lunch boxes, thermos, paper bags and these things:
See, that doesn’t look so bad. Instead of making school lunches more plentiful and nutritious, perhaps the district should just change the packaging. That will probably get rid of all the complaints.