Student nutrition

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2001

I remain astonished the Juneau public school system does not have a cafeteria style hot breakfast and lunch program.

I realize it may not be economical to build a cafeteria in each school. We should, however, open a single, centralized cooking facility where nutritious meals could be prepared and delivered to the schools.

Looking at the October elementary school menu, our kids are offered sandwiches 15 of 23 days. Excluding the items below the BBQ beef and chicken burger appear to be hot. Hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza pockets, pizza bagels, corn dogs make up the remainder of October's lunch menu. I think the intent is there in that carrots, celery wedges and a veggie melody are made available with each lunch.

The two alternatives our children have are to purchase pizza slices on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week, or brown bag their lunch.

The media tell us the majority of today's school-age youth is significantly overweight. Considering the menu items above I now understand why. Juneau's damp, cold climate makes hot nutritious meals a necessity. If the hospital can provide hot meals to its patients and staff why can't the Juneau school system do it for the students? I encourage our leaders to look outside the box and consider all possibilities. Juneau's youth deserve it.

In the interim I offer the following suggestion: Negotiate a piggy back arrangement with the hospital to provide meals to the schools. The project could be expanded to incorporate our pioneer homes.

Dale Leighton


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