PARISHVILLE, N.Y. (WWTI) — A local school district is addressing issues surrounding its foodservice after a photo of a meal went viral.
Last week, Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District Superintendent Dr. William E. Collins released a message to the community regarding a parent’s Facebook post.
This post included a photo, pictured above, that was sent to Christopher Vangellow by his child on January 12. The photo showed four chicken nuggets, white rice and a side of carrots on a cafeteria tray.
Vangellow also shared more photos of school lunches sent to him by his child throughout the school year. These are included below:
In his post, Vangellow described these lunches as “a bit lacking,” “not very appetizing,” and said that his children have been “been complaining that since the lunches are now free for everyone, the portions have dropped.”
Since the original photo was posted on Facebook less than a week ago, it has been shared over 300 times, has over 250 comments and 250 reactions, many from other parents of students within the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District.
In response to the Facebook post, Dr. Collins stated that students are allowed more than one serving of fruits or vegetables and one additional nugget that appeared in the photo.
However, Dr. Collins added that “this doesn’t alter the message that many students and parents are dissatisfied with school lunches. The concerns expressed clearly resonated with students and parents as evidenced by the number of comments and shares.”
To address the dissatisfaction, Dr. Collins announced that he and the District’s cafeteria manager are creating a group to “address the dissatisfaction with school meals,” and “explore ways to make school meals more appetizing while still meeting the strict USDA requirements.”
This working group is set to include four students and four parents, along with a representative from the Parishville-Hopkinton Wellness Committee.
The full text of the viral Facebook post is included below:
“I think the Parishville School Lunches might be a bit lacking a bit. even for a kid that isn’t 6’5 like Ash. If this was a game day I don’t think any of the team would be getting enough energy from something like this. When Auryn came through he didn’t even see any dry tasteless carrots available. He also chose to not have any of the plain rice as a side because that is not very appetizing either. They have been complaining that since the lunches are now free for everyone, the portions have dropped. I got this photo today. It really is ridiculous.”
“Don’t come at me with the “you get what you pay for” or “just send them with food” crap either. Yeah we can do that and and sometimes the kids do choose to bring something from home or will buy extra lunch to get more in them to get them through a day. The problem is that not all families can do that. We don’t live in a very rich area. Some kids may not get much or anything when at home and this is what they have to survive on. The rely on the meals that the school provides. This is what they get though. In my opinion, this is failing those kids.”