Costs devour Boston shools' salad bars
- The Curley K-8 School in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood had done away with sodas and snacks, offering a salad bar to upper grade students twice a week, but the city's education department decided to stop stocking the bar and reinstated junk food sales.
- The move, which comes at a time when First Lady Michelle Obama is promoting healthier school lunch menus in the fight against childhood obesity and diabetes, is dismaying to the school's health and wellness committee, as well as parents and students.
- In all, Boston's schools had six salad bars funded by a foundation supporting Mrs. Obama's initiative, but food services costs were cited as a primary reason behind the decision due to a $3.6-million deficit last year.
Despite being in office for nearly a year and salad bars being canned as early as September, the Boston Globe reported that the city's interim superintendent, John McDonough, was surprised to learn of their shuttering before promising to investigate. That promise was followed by a statement from a department spokesman who said cited "a high cost associated with the salad bar service," though no cost estimate could be provided because officials hadn't "done a complete cost analysis."
Several of the $2,600 salad bar stations in Boston were among 3,400 nationwide donated by Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools, and they're said to have been well-received by students. Some students and parents have accused the district, which says it is seeking more cost-effective healthy food options, of only seeing money — but if the issue at hand is ultimately a funding concern, it's hard to expect the district to run a deficit to keep the stations operational.
- The Boston Globe Once-hailed salad bars gone from city’s schools
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