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Nyack School Lunch Program

What is going on with the school lunch program in the District? My daughter attends elementary school in Nyack. I recently tried to find out what kind of chocolate milk was being sold in the District, and what kind of yogurt is being sold. I was worried about high fructose corn syrup and preservatives. I asked if foods were deep fried, and whether the schools had salad bars. I asked which meals arrived frozen and which meals were made fresh. It was as though I had asked for state secrets. The District has so far refused to answer. Why is the District so secretive? What sort of food are they serving?

I was concerned because the District food is provided by Aramark. I couldn’t get answers so I asked to see the food service contract. After waiting several weeks and having to pay $25 for a copy, I was more confused than ever. What I saw was permission to use fillers, extender and meaningless committments to unspecified standards. Permitted are artificial colors and flavors, and high fructose corn syrup. No limits on artificial hormones or antibiotics. Basically what I saw was that the food would meet minimal state and federal standards for nutrition. These standards are the lowest legal stardards that enable a school district to receive federal funding.
Can’t we do better by our children? Why are we letting Aramark profit at our children’s expense? Why is the lunch program shrouded in secrecy? Why is it so hard to find out the truth?

A quick search on Google shows that school districts all over the area are doing better. I fear that the District views the food service program the same way it viewed the artificial turf problem. It stands firm, refuses to answer questions and looks to its same group of preferred insiders to set policy. I asked to join the Wellness committee and was told to wait a year. Then I was told that the committee meetings may not be open to the public.

Secrecy never serves a public body. When parents want answers related to the welfare of their childen, they do not want to be patronized or minimized. The School District will likely learn this lesson the hard way too. Remember: School Board elections are May 20th.




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