Monday, October 06, 2008

Non-district schools opt out of food service program.

So this is where Food Services latched upon the reference to McDonald's. I find it mildly bewildering that the Food Service program is shlepping food to non-district schools when they can't even get their own service delivery problems resolved internally.

The following is an article that appeared in the Edmonds Becon on September 18th, while the rest of us were distracted by cheese sandwiches and Schrammies.

“For that amount you could buy a Happy Meal and get change”

Holy Rosary School in Edmonds has opted out of the school lunch program after being notified the lunch price has gone from $2.75 to $4.40.

School spokesmen say they were notified of the pending increase Aug. 8, which took them by surprise.

“The timing was not good,” says Holy Rosary principal Dr. Kathy Carr. “We can’t afford $4.40 a day for a lunch. For that amount you could buy a Happy Meal (at McDonald’s) and get change.”

St. Thomas More and Pius X schools also bowed out of the Food Services Program, which is administered by Edmonds School District, because of the price increases.

“We’ve been using the National School Lunch Program for 20 to 30 years and never had a problem,” says Holy Rosary principal Carr. “Over that period we always complied with every regulation and were never late with a report.”

The problem, she says, is not just the price but the fact that private schools are charged more to participate in the lunch program than public schools. A lot more.

Holy Rosary is charged $4.40 per lunch while the rate for public schools is $3.25. School officials point out that their students have to pay the middle school price, even though only a small percentage of the students are middle schoolers. Most are elementary students.

The in-district charges are even more dramatic when compared to the same lunches from other local districts.

In the Mukilteo School District, the current lunch price is $2 for elementary students. Middle and high school students pay $2.25.

Trying to rectify the situation has been frustrating for Dr. Carr.

She says the Edmonds School District told her it was out of their jurisdiction.

Calls to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction got the same response.

Calls to Congressman Jay Inslee’s office led to more out of the same – “not our jurisdiction.”

The Beacon’s calls to the Edmonds School District had not been returned by press time.

However, there is general uncertainty about who is in charge of setting the school lunch prices, and no explanation as to why they’re so steep compared to other districts.

“My biggest frustration is that it’s on the backs of the children,” principal Carr says. “It’s taxpayer money. But when I tried to get answers, it was no one’s jurisdiction. They all said the same thing: Nothing can be done.”

Read the entire article in the Edmonds Beacon by clicking here.


Anonymous said...

The parents of these students in private school also pay taxes to support the public school district.

If these private schools started calling their lunch breaks "Nutritional Studies", the District could count them as enrolled students and get more money from the State.

How would it differ from the Homeschool Resource Center?

Anonymous said...

Another example of MM trying to justify her eratic spending. She will stop at nothing to get her way. Barbara Lloyd is on leave from Food Services, probably at the request of MM. Where will this craziness stop? I am happy to know the press is invovled, not only with this article but others as well.

Rick Jorgensen said...

I have a question.....

If Food Services is an "Enterprise Program" that is to break even (be self sustaining), then why are Private Schools being charged at a higher rate than Public School kids?

If the cost is $3.25 per meal, then why is there a higher cost to others for the same product?

And while we are on the subject, what are the specific costs that have risen so much that justifies such an increase in a 1 year time period? Is there any way we can get a budget for the last several years to see what is going on?

Anonymous said...

My question is ...

How about all the NEW foodservice trucks " I mean brand new diesel truck" running around the district delivering cheese sandwitches.

Who's paying for those new trucks?
We the people.../ Taxpayers.

Brand new trucks.....2008's

Foodservice is not SELF SUSTAINING .

We need more info Barb Lloyd! head of foodservice.

I hate being in the fire, how do you like it Barb?

Looks like the lunch tables have turned.

Anonymous said...

If you were to google the other districts in the area, Everett charges $2.10, Shoreline charges $2.50, Northshore charges $2.50 and Seattle charge $2.25 all of these prices are for SCHOOL LUNCH. Breakfast is also cheaper. For some reason those districts aren't claiming food,labor and fuel increases, to INCREASE their costs! A parent could go to subway and but a footlong sub for ONLY $5.00 and split it between TWO kids and it would only cost $2.50 each,that would also include their veggies. Mukilteo contracts thru a company called Sodexho,

They provide a better food service program than the Edmonds School District at 62% less than what we are paying, for what appears to be a more nutrional meal program for all ages.

Here is an example of Mukilteo Elementary lunch menu Included with each lunch: your choice of Entrée, unlimited fruit and vegetable offering bar and choice of ice cold milk.
October 2008 Elementary Menu
Turkey Sandwich W/ Crisp Lettuce on Whole Wheat or
Whole Grain Corn Dog,or
Chicken Patty Sandwich
On Whole Wheat Bun or
Our Menus are designed to “EXCEED” USDA Dietary Guidelines

An Assortment of “Whole Grain” & “Low Sugar” Cereals and Warm Bagel with Cream Cheese are offered daily for breakfast
Each breakfast includes choice of entrée, assortment of fruit, juice, yogurt and milk. Our daily special is listed below.MONDAY
Cheese Omelet w/Potato Rounds
Hot Ham & Cheese
Muffin Sandwich
Hot Oatmeal with Topping Bar
Egg & Cheese Muffin Sandwich
Fresh Baked
Waffle & Sausage w/ Warm Maple Syrup

Maybe the district should look into contracting thru this company as other school districts in our state and colleges are using them. I know that for our child, we would rather have them eat from choices listed in the Mukilteo School District than what junk is currently being served by our district. When did Marla Miller and Nick Brossoit last go to one of our Elementary Schools and actually eat the breakfast or lunch that was being served? We suggest that they venture down the Mukilteo Speedway and ask to visit the school for lunch OR breakfast and COMPARE the difference. Why can a district offer a bigger selection of nutrional food choices and our children are offered such poor selecton for both breakfast and lunch for 62% MORE??? The district really needs to start being held accountable for their decision making with the tax payers, with this blog site we are catching on to what is happening in the district.

Anonymous said...

I would imagine they, FS, will say the cost for lunches for the private schools is for gas money!

Anonymous said...

How can no one know who's in charge of setting the price of lunch? I bet I can guess who's in charge, and her name starts with the letter M.

Anonymous said...

Did the private schools happened to comment on how much money they get from the state that does not come to the school district? this is one of the reasons that the private schools pay more. The district food service receives funding for district students but the private schools receive that funding and therefore the district needs to cover all cost. This was a service and the schools did not have huge participation and so the distirct food service dpt. did not make a huge amount of $'s from them. Someone needs to get the facts and the beacon nor the private school did not get or share all the facts. The private school could have used those fund to keep the cost down for their students but did they?

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Frequently private firms can do it for less. Less pay. Less healthcare for their workers. Less job security. What's the state minimum wage now compared to what the district pays? That may be most of the difference. We just bought new food trucks? Cool. They can be part of the deal with a new contractor-they won't have to buy equipment (your money, not theirs) for years.

I have suggested this before on the blog: maybe the plan is to go to a private company but to make that palatable, the price of lunch has to go up through the roof until the parent/taxpayers cry "Uncle!" Are you being played (manipulated)? Better find out.

Anonymous said...

Another point lost in the fray of Foodservice is QUALITY. The quality of the food products served to Edmonds School District students is pathetic. This fact in and of itself fails to justify any increase in price. Do not simply look at the menu for Mukilteo (or other districts)- rather visit and observe the appealing nature of the food and how much the children enjoy eating it. Edmonds' food products would be better described as kak.

Rick Jorgensen said...

To my knowledge, private schools do not receive any funds from the State (at least that is what I recall from the last budget I saw). I'm still interested in why public schools are charged more. I suspect that it is because of the increased fuel costs needed to deliver the meals to the school. Why this is more than it would cost for other schools in the district is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Whoa. Kak? I can't find that in any of my dictionaries. Do we really want to know? :-)

Rick Jorgensen said...

I received some additional information regarding funds from the State for private schools (directly from the principal of one of the schools).

There are Title 1 FEDERAL dollars provided for instructional money for students in need of academic support as well as Title IIA funds which can only be spent on staff development.

Both of these sources are restricted in their use (can not be used for school lunches). Additionally, private schools do not receive any funds from the State (despite the fact that residents pay taxes for schools like everyone else). This is a whole different kettle of worms but regardless, private schools are not receiving an unfair advantage from government.

Anonymous said...

Private schools do receiving funding for school lunch when they receive the food from another district that is funded. The private school can choose to let district have the funds and keep the price of lunch lower or they keep the funding the district must charge more for the lunch because they receive no funds for feeding a private school.

Rick Jorgensen said...

Can you please point me to the appropriate regulation or policy that explains this or how I can get additional information? I spoke with a private school principal and they were unaware of the funding you are describing. Please feel free to email me directly at if you prefer.

Anonymous said...

regarding funding for private school meals. contact OSPI the food dept. or you contact St. Thomas More and ask about funding/commodities. I bet the Edmonds F/S bookkeeper could give you information also. 431-7078