School Lunches

Diane Chapeta has managed to revive the moribund lunch program of incorporating locally produced foodstuff into the school menu and letting the students decide on what to eat for lunch. This has had many advantages and benefits noted including increased participation of students in the lunch program which now offers a healthier variety of foodstuffs. However, there are always two sides to a coin. There are potential downfalls to the program. Chepeta indicates that the menu is developed daily so as to offer variety and choice to the students. This is meant to entice the students, who are for the most part of it enjoying the meals because they get to try out something new, every day.However, the menu will eventually be limit to foodstuffs mainly available from the local community. This means that the staff will soon run out of option and revert to a menu that is more regular and one that the students have already sampled before. This potentially means that the students will soon loose interest once the menu becomes repetitive and revert to their old participation rate. The fruit/vegetable stand offers a variety of fruits and vegetables that is meant to fill up the students after their meal. The potential for overstocking or under stocking the fruit bar is very real since it is the students who get to decide on what and how much they eat on any particular day.

There is no possible way of determining how much the students will consume every other day. This means that there is a potential to under stock in which case the students will not be happy or overstock in which the commodities may go bad resulting in losses for the school. The new lunch program also insists on scratch prep. This requires fresh produce to be prepared from scratch, for example, pealing potatoes. This is highly labor intensive and time consuming. This is especially true when considering that the former program made use of pre-prepared and processed foodstuffs that was already canned and boxed and was as such more efficient.

It as such presents the problem of overstretching the kitchen staff. This will present the problem of labor, with the staff likely to complain, and rightly so, that they are doing more work in the new system than in the old. This can only mean one thing: the schools are going to have to hire more staff or they will be forced to increase the wages that the new program demands. Either way, this means increased expenses for the schools.

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