Chicago School Bans Home Lunches

Tuesday, 12 Apr 2011 10:37 AM

By Martin Gould

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A Chicago school has banned homemade lunches to protect students from their parents' bad choices, the Chicago Tribune reports.

But students at the kindergarten-through-8th grade Little Village Academy say they are often forced to go hungry because school lunches are so bad.

The decision by principal Elsa Carmona was attacked as “a fundamental infringement on parental responsibility.” J. Justin Wilson, senior researcher at the Center for Consumer Freedom said. "This is the perfect illustration of how the government's one-size-fits-all mandate on nutrition fails time and time again."

"Some parents may want to pack a gluten-free meal for a child, and others may have no problem with a child enjoying soda, " he added. "Would the school balk if the parent wanted to prepare a healthier meal?” Wilson asked.

Principal Carmona says only kids who have a medical excuse are allowed to bring their own food. "Nutrition wise, it is better,” she told the paper. “It's milk versus a Coke.”

But a Tribune reporter who visited the school said many students threw most of their lunch in the garbage claiming it tasted bad. When a seventh-grader asked fellow students who thought the lunch wasn’t good enough “dozens” of hands were raised.

Parent Erica Martinez said: "Some of the kids don't like the food they give at our school … It would be a good idea if they could bring their lunch so they could at least eat something."

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