As a consumer, what do you expect to receive in return for your payment? If you pay for medication do you expect full strength or is ok if the medication is watered down with actual water? Speaking of water, do you really think that bottle is full of natural spring water or is it tap water?
Let’s say you pay the school to feed your child. Stop laughing. Heath and I are products of a public education and we both ate school lunch. Or hot lunch as they used to call it because in the 80’s it was actually hot food like spaghetti or roast beef sandwiches au jus.
Now school lunch is nothing more than expensive snacks. I’m not kidding. Would you pay $3 for mozzarella sticks/marinara sauce, a piece of fruit, and a milk carton? How about $3.25 any school day but Wednesday when apparently the food is laced with gold because the cost shoots up to $3.75?
I’m not making this up. This is what Gavin’s school lunch costs. The last two years we paid $3 a day or $30 every two weeks, with a week being a regular 5 day school week. This year I decided that I could save myself $60 a month by sending a lunch from home. It was worth trying it out anyway. Then I got the email from the school stating the increase in lunch costs this year.
I just have to ask, where is that money going to? The office party pool? How much could each lunch actually cost? I could take him to In & Out Burgers near his school for about the same price!
I don’t think his school even has a cafeteria. I could be wrong but I think they just set up tables in the murpose purpose room. Oh how I miss the days when Gavin called it that! Other than a few food choices it’s not like anything needs to be kept hot in an oven or cold in a refrigerator.
Friends of mine with multiple children in the school system say they don’t buy school lunch because it’s too expensive. I’m starting to agree. The thought of paying close to $8 a day for Gavin and Parker next year is too rich for my ghetto latchkey kid blood.
A friend of mine in Utah recently talked about whether or not she should buy school lunch for her daughter as well as her son. The issue was over the fact that her daughter is Type 1 diabetic and nothing to do with price. I have it on good authority that lunches in Washington are a little more than a dollar for teachers. Teachers always pay a few cents more for lunch than students. Because their staggering salary easily accommodates the cost of an extra scoop of this or that.
So now I’m sending Gavin to school with an ice pack, designed to keep bottled breast milk cool, in his lunch bag hoping he doesn’t die of salmonella poisoning from warm mayo and lunch meat. He hates peanut butter sandwiches but has agreed to eat them occasionally.
I talked to his teacher about sending peanut butter because last year a friend of mine was chewed out for sending a peanut butter sandwich with one of her kids to another school. I realize some kids have severe nut allergies but I don’t know the rules about sending my non allergic child to school with a sandwich I worry less about making him sick than meat and cheese. She said the kids with allergies sit at designated tables. If they have indoor lunch on those days when it is pouring rain (the kids eat outside every day) then the kids with severe enough allergies sit outside in the hall. So peanut butter is ok.
But then what about carrots? Do baby carrots need to stay refrigerated? You know a stupid bag of chips is starting to sound really tempting right now. What do granola parents send to school with their kids? No, I’m actually asking. Leave me a comment like “Hey Piquant Storyteller! You’re not a nice person (I will delete your comment if you use naughty words) for calling me granola! But this is what I send to school with my kid and they are healthy as can be so go kiss a cow!”
Do you remember the Sally Struthers commercials that told you how affordable it was to keep a third world child fed and in good health? I wonder if those prices have increased too and by how much in the last 20 some odd years.