Parents must have a doctor’s note to send a packed lunch with their children to at least one Virginia preschool – a policy that critics say infringes on parental rights and leads to children eating more unhealthy processed food.
The parental note reportedly from Federal Programs Preschool has gone viral online. Many who have commented on the note deem the policy yet another reason to homeschool children.
An excerpt from the school note banning sack lunches reads:
“Parents are to be informed that students can only bring lunches from home if there is a medical condition meriting a specific diet, along with a physician’s note to that regard. I am sorry for any inconvenience.”
But a doctor’s note may not be so easy to acquire if a parent simply is opposed to processed and genetically modified (GMO) foods – and whether the school even would accept it.
Linda, a stay-at-home mom of three, posted the Federal Programs Preschool note on her My 2 Crazy Curls website. She did contact her doctor to attempt to garner some type of note to send to the school so her son could still eat food she chose – and she scheduled a meeting with the boy’s teacher.
“I went from confusion to dumbfounded to feeling being hurt knowing my child would come home hungry,” she wrote. “Zion refuses [to] eats what the school provides, I know this because he’s uber picky but after I received a note from his teacher last month that he hasn’t [eaten] much and perhaps I could pack him a lunch. Until one day last week, I received this note and I was confused as wanting to know why and I called the health coordinator. Left a message hoping they would call back but they didn’t.”
The policy of banning outside food at schools apparently is widespread. A Hawaii website detailing its Head Start program says “outside foods are not allowed.”
While First Lady Michelle Obama would like Americans to believe the meals served on plastic trays in public schools are healthy, they too often actually are full of preservatives, highly processed ingredients, and mostly derived from GMO plants.
Agricultural surplus is a staple in school lunch menus. The National School Lunch Program began in 1946. The US Department of Agriculture reportedly spends approximately $1 billion a year on commodities for schools. Schools get the food and often then ship it elsewhere for processing. About $445 million worth of agricultural surplus are shipped for processing every year – a 50 percent increase since 2006, The New York Times reported.
Michigan Department of Education statistics state that the agency received free raw chicken that it sends for processing into chicken nuggets at a tune of $33.45 per case. San Bernardino schools reportedly spend $14.75 to have $5.95 worth of fresh potatoes turned into French fries.
Although some progress has been made in recent years in serving school children healthier, less-processed food, NPR found that a typical lunch burger still contains 26 ingredients.
Then there’s the controversy over so-called pink slime (LFTB), a by-product of the beef processing industry. As previously reported by Off The Grid News, pink slime still is being served to school children in seven states.
How do you feel about school bans on sack lunches?