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Free school dinner/lunch for all! Ridiculous!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by delmamerchant, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    We could do that too.
    Free school meals will at least stop kids going hungry or suffering malnutrition in the meantime.
  2. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Assuming they eat them.
    Anything other than burger and pizza is likely to be rejected.
    wanet, Pomz, needabreak and 2 others like this.
  3. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Targeting money, introducing and running payment systems, the wastage due to not really knowing the demand - these things all cost money. I'd be interested to see the figures but I suspect in some areas it would be as cheap to provide a basic meal for all as for serving whatever the current system provides with the extra cards, payments systems and someone to process it all.
    bombaysapphire and lanokia like this.
  4. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    See, I think that's indulging children too much. I've seen kids eat all sorts and surprised themselves by liking things when i've taken them on trips and basically said - it's that or nothing because there ain't a shop for miles.
    I'm a little surprised that a cook of your talent doesn't think it's possible to persuade kids away from burgers and pizza!
    needabreak and Mangleworzle like this.
  5. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    My schooldays were mostly in the 60s. The school had its own canteen staff who cooked everything from scratch. We had to pay for it, but it was a lot less expensive than it would have cost our mothers to cook something similar.

    It goes without saying that we preferred our mum's food to what was served at school, but on the whole, what we were offered was fair. It was nutritious and I would say more appetising than any ready meal you can buy today.

    We were given a choice of three options for a main course and another three options for afters. Some kids hated some things, but on the whole, there was never a menu that any kid would refuse to eat every item on.

    Our lunch breaks lasted an hour and a half which was sufficient to to cover two sittings and for everyone to unwind. Most of the teachers ate the the same food the kids were offered.

    Fast forward forty to fifty years. I can't recall an instance when I've been in a state school where the teachers chose to eat the same food the kids were offered. Every teacher I met took in a packed lunch. Since I was a visitor, I was occasionally offered a lunch from the school canteen, but having seen the shoddy food on offer, I declined.

    The issue of whether school dinners are free or not for all students matters less to me than the issue of what is offered is of an acceptable quality. Anyone of the millions who followed Martha Payne's NeverSeconds blog will testify that when a nine year old child finds her school dinners of such poor quality it warrants photographing them and writing a scathing review, there is something fundamentally wrong with them.

    When I worked in the NHS, there was a similar situation to the school I attended. The staff canteen served exactly the same food given to patients. Cooked freshly on the premises each day and too good to avoid. I have no idea if that is still the case, but I've watched food programmes on TV that challenged the quality of hospital food.

    Can anyone seriously expect food made in a factory at cut price, transported hundreds of miles then reheated ever be as good as freshly and loving cooked food, made by local people who get to know the kids they serve it to?

    And finally, lunchtime was something to look forward to. A time for the stress of the day, both for kids and teachers to be lifted. I don't believe for a second that my education was hampered by the hour and a half lunch breaks we enjoyed. If anything, I'd say we learned a lot more back then and if I had to say why in a single sentence, it was because school life was so much more relaxed than it is now.

    I will never be convinced that working in a pressure cooker environment improves production.
    install likes this.
  6. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I have been wondering that...
  7. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

  8. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Then this is your lucky day. There is a first time for everything
  9. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Was talking to some colleagues today re free school dinner for all and they informed me that in the borough of Tower Hamlet's, due to the perceived depravation, all primary school children get free school lunch. There were different points of view. A couple of support staff said that whilst they qualified, they resented those who could afford it, having free meals, they felt that it was indicative of the wealthy getting the best of both worlds. Interesting perspective.
    needabreak likes this.
  10. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Those competent in the kitchen can manage it. It is done in commercial kitchens why not school ones. There was a programme about the waste in NHS kitchens which was fairly easy to sort once the "we have always done it this way" folk were dealt with. There is no reason why it can't be done in school.
  11. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    You can please some of the people some of the time... *I think that should be my new slogan... if only I could be bothered to change my signature on here that would be it.
    delmamerchant likes this.
  12. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    I replied to the wrong response. I am just reading it. That was not meant for you, sorry.

    The scene you describe is how it was for me. You were given a ticket for free lunch. My friends were not free lunch and used to go out. I used to sell my ticket so that I could go out with them. I never felt embarrassed by it. I think it was due to growing up when things like free school meals were not used as data so no one thought anything of it.
    Now, if you have free school meals, the government have made it a statistical reason for school failure

    Can I reassure you that, lunch in my school is set. Everyone has the same choice. Selection from the main meal choices, no matter how much you offer to pay, salad, drink, dessert.

    We also use a fingerprint system:biometrics so no one knows who pays or who is free.
    wanet and needabreak like this.

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