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School lunches may see price hike

Original post made on Aug 4, 2009

The cost of buying a hot lunch in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District may be going up, as trustees examine ways to trim a large deficit in the food service program. At a special meeting today, the board heard a recommendation to approve a $.50 increase, bumping elementary school lunches from $3 to $3.50 per meal, and middle and high schoolers from $3.50 to $4.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 4, 2009, 6:07 PM

Comments (12)

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Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Aug 4, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Our kids need good nutrition more than even a good education. It is fundamentally what controls most of our physical, mental, and emotional capabilities. If chartwells costs more simply because they provide a better product, well then it is well worth it

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Posted by Andrew Gardner
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Aug 4, 2009 at 10:10 pm

As a teacher at San Ramon Valley High School, I would like to share with you my experience within the newly constructed Commons on any given day during the school year.

Upon entering our Commons you are greeted by a sweet lady who is serving up pizza by the slice on a sheet of wax paper and styrofoam plate both of which serve no purpose but for the hand off. These products contribute to a disgusting trash issue in which I have been working to minimize during my four years at SRVHS.

Turn to the left and you get the full lunch bar options for students. Get in the lines to the left for your hamburgers and french fries and another brand of pizza. Down the middle you enter the Mexican lines in which you can receive an assortment of bean and cheese burritos and tacos as well as a nice paper box full of nachos and cheese. And to your right, you may find a healthier side of lunch with hot pastrami sandwiches from Quizno's which can be combined with a bag of chips, milk, and a piece of fruit.

Two issues to consider:

1. According to most nutritional references and my own intuition, these meals would not fall under any category of "Healthy Choice" lunches. So if you are basing your decisions to hike up lunch prices because you need "to provide better and more nutritious meals to district students" then I strongly urge you to reconsider your choice of food vendors.

2. As I am sure there is some legal code for handling and distributing food, the current system produces an incredible and excessive amount of trash. During my 4 years, we have conducted trash and recycling audits and implemented several initiatives to clean up our campus. By reducing the amount of paper and wax products associated with food distribution at the schools OR choosing a vendor that specializes in No or Limited Waste Food Services, we could well be on our way to a much cleaner campus for our school community.

I realize it is hard for Board members to see the day-to-day on each campus but I assure you, there is plenty of waste, both material and fiscal, associated with the food services in the district. As we tighten our budget belts, think about the reality of the nutritional choices before hiking up lunch prices for students, think about the custodial costs to clean up all the trash on a daily basis, and think about the daily hauling and landfill costs this current system is costing the district.

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Posted by ken
a resident of another community
on Aug 5, 2009 at 7:38 am

Of course their are "legal" (and more importantly SAFE handling) issues for distributing food. It may be perfectly normal for your kids to just pick up a slice of pizza w/o protective gloves and/or wax paper(napkin) when eating at home, but trash even an excessive amount, is a small price to pay for the health and welfare of our children.

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Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Aug 5, 2009 at 10:26 am

There should be no candy, chips, cookies, soda or any junk food at school. Pizza is even debatable. Kids need to be compelled to eat things with a significant amount of vegetables and/or fruit. To compel them one must deprive them of unhealthier options. After all, we have them stuck at school as a captive audience for eight hours. Only highly nutritious foods should be available during this time.

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Posted by Danville Mom
a resident of Danville
on Aug 5, 2009 at 3:27 pm

$4 for lunch...that is cheap. Lunch at DLS is $5.75 for an entree.

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Posted by Crazy
a resident of Danville
on Aug 5, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Parents in this school district can spend thousands of dollars buying their kids useless junk but they don't want to spend $20/week to feed them?

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Posted by Tim
a resident of Danville
on Aug 8, 2009 at 7:24 am

Can someone please explain why the shortfall of more than $200,000 in the lunch program was just doscovered? If this school district was a real business this expense would have been monitored every month and corrective action implemented when the loss was just $10,000. Instead, the taxpayers get to bail out the school district for their lax monitoring. Lunch programs should be a break even expense at every school site. This should be one of the many performance indicators place on the school sites administrators.

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Posted by San Ramon business owner
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 11, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Note to all, you can't force kids to eat food they don't want to eat and you can put healthy food out but if they don't eat it is it still considered healthy? Based on these comments above what kinds of foods are they (Chartwells) serving that is so much more healthy? Sounds to me they are using the word "healthier foods" just to make it sound better but in reality I heard it's much worse than before from my neighbors that have kids attending schools within the district. It's too bad that a mistake was made and no one is willing to move past it to correct the root of the problem. I also heard that the foodservice lost $600,000 not $300,000 from within the district so what was the true cost from this year really and why do we (taxpayers) have to pay for a company that should have managed it properly? If anyone has that answer I would love to hear!

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Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Aug 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Mr. Business Owner, I don't know what kind of a pathetic parent you must be, but you ABOSLUTELY can force kids to eat healthy. Kids are genetically geared to be led, to be guided. I'm so sick of this flaccid, limpwristed approach towards children, as if they were the adults. Oh well, the kid wants to smoke. I guess we have to let him. The kid wants to eat a cookie. What can we do? Friggin pathetic. A child's nutrition is of the utmost importance. That being said, if Chartwells is not providing said nutrition, then haul their butts out and get someone in there to FEED OUR KIDS RIGHT!!! OUR BODIES AND MINDS ARE MADE OUT OF WHAT WE EAT!!! LAME NUTRITION EQUALS LAME PEOPLE!!!!

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Posted by maurice
a resident of Danville
on Aug 12, 2009 at 9:28 am

If you you dont like the food or the price. Get off your lazy backside and make your child lunch and stop whining...

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Posted by no name
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Aug 13, 2009 at 1:18 pm

San Ramon Valley High School has open campus for half of the students. They can just walk across the street or downtown and purchase the many items that by law the food service department is not allowed to serve.

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Posted by Omini
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Sep 16, 2009 at 7:51 pm

As a student at SRV, I find it just a tad odd that at the same time the lunch prices rose, the lunch room got these nice, fancy looking signs for the lines that we students spend all of 5 minutes in. I do realize that the price hike is district-wide, and not just because of the new signs. I am also aware that the money for those signs (and a new coat of paint of the inside of the cafeteria, featuring a "Wolves" logo above the door that all the students find corny) was probably allotted a year or two ago; same with the new (better looking) senior parking lot and expanded teacher parking that were built over the summer. But seriously, even if that money was allotted over a year ago, can't someone say "you know what? wee don't need a better looking parking lot for the seniors. Lets keep some teacher's jobs instead". oh well, whats done is done. I guess we'll just have to live with the extra parking for the teachers we won't have.

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