Parent says lunches at Little Rock school are 'disgraceful'
Little Rock (KATV) —
Latoya, an upset Little Rock School District parent, took to Facebook on Wednesday and posted a picture of her child’s school lunch. In the post, she called the meal "disgraceful."
“I have seen prison meals look better than that," said Latoya, who requested that her full name not be used to protect her child from potential school backlash. "That to me was just not acceptable."
The post, now shared almost 7,000 times, shows a picture of the lunch: a piece of turkey ham, a cup of sweet potatoes and corn bread.
“I have gotten messages from parents saying my children are complaining about the lunches, as well,” Latoya said.
The post has also gained the attention of the Little Rock School District.
On Thursday, KATV spoke with Stephanie Hynes, the district's child nutrition director, about the meals they serve students.
“We don’t make the rules, but we follow the rules," she said. "We are a USDA program, which means we have to follow USDA guidelines and each day we offer meat, meat alternatives, vegetables, milk and grain bread."
Each day, 15,000 of the district’s 25,000 students take advantage of a school lunch, which the district said adheres to strict food guidelines that prohibit antibiotics, steroids and byproducts.
As for the photo in question, the district believes the image does not properly represent what was offered to the student.
“I think on the day in question, it was the turkey ham, cornbread or the romaine chef salad," Hynes said. "I think it was lima beans, sweet potatoes, peaches, blueberries and milk. So that was the entire menu offered but of course the child selected three of those items. We can’t force them as much as we would like them to."
In March, the district will launch a student nutrition task force, through which students can help pick out options for future menus. In the meantime, Latoya is urging the district to do better by their students.
“If I am paying for this -- I feel like if I am paying for this, I feel like they should put more time and effort in preparing the lunches for them,” she said.
A Little Rock School District lunch is about $3 a day. The district also offers free and reduced meals to qualifying families.
You can view LRSD's school menu on their website.