Jackson County Superintendant and Board of Education
United States of America

IMPORTANT UPDATE 11/16/07: BOE met last night. No supporters of the petition were present, only myself, the author. Therefore, the BOE did not take the petition seriously. It was my understanding that they felt I was the only one with a complaint about the food.
Mr. Barlow along with several board members stated that they visited the schools and sampled the food finding no problems.

Board member Mark Brown stated, "The people I have called said they did not sign the petition." He also read a letter from Nancy Gebhardt, the Regional Coordinator of the Middle TN School Nutrition Program, stating that "the nutrition program in Jackson County meets the USDA dietary standards and guidelines and is an exemplary program with many commendations."

According to Mr. Barlow, Ms. Gebhardt recently audited our school nutrition program and also ate the food. She found absolutely no problems and had no suggestions of ways in which our school nutrition program could improve upon. In fact, she stated that the students were given a choice between 3 entrees and 5 vegetables being served that day. She also took pictures of the food and menu samples in order that other schools could model their programs after. Mr Barlow further stated that Ms. Gebhardt quoted to him that 84% of our high school students eat the cafeteria food, which according to him in her words is "a very high rate compared to other high schools in TN".

Basically folks, the result is this: According to the BOE and Mr. Barlow, absolutely no problems were found in our school nutrition program. Mr. Barlow stated that they have made a few changes in the last month. Therefore, don't expect to see any other changes any time soon.

Sorry kids, I tried to make some changes for you all but failed to accomplish anything due to lack of public support from other adults in the community. Had there been an abundance of parents/teachers to voice their opinions and attend the meeting, the outcome may have been different.
The lunch room food is revolting, repulsive, and sickening. The hamburgers and chicken are pink in the middle and the fries are either undercooked or overcooked. Sometimes the food is burned and is black.

All of the food is unseasoned, has no taste, and absolutely no salt or pepper is available to the students. The lettuce on the sandwiches and in the salads is brown. Foods that are served one day are being served again 2-3 days later.

They very frequently run out of food during the last lunch line and those students have to settle for whatever is available.

Whenever macaroni and cheese is served, it is considered a meal and anything else you are charged extra for. For example, they may serve pinto beans on the same day as macaroni and cheese but you can't have both items unless you pay extra. What's up with that? We pay $2.00 a day for lunch for our kids. That price should include anything they want, unless they are getting a full meal plus extra helpings or drinks. Then, I could see the reasoning for charging extra.

The ketchup at the high school is in a pump bottle and tastes a little "funky". At the middle school, no ketchup is available to students when being served hamburgers and fries but when they have pizza, ketchup is served.

None of the food tastes good. The teachers won't even eat in the cafeteria. They either order out or bring their lunches.

We also believe the lunch room workers should wear hair nets to keep their hair out of the food because there have been numerous times when hair has been found in the food.

The bottom line is this food is not edible. We need healthy food that tastes good. Our kids are not getting the proper nourishment they need in our school system because they cannot eat their lunches. Our kids come home starved to death everyday with another horrible story about the lunchroom food. We have to make a stand and do something about this. We are taxpayers and this is a public school.

We have to demand that some changes be made to improve our school lunches.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The next school board meeting is scheduled at 6 pm on November 15, 2007 at Dodson Branch Elementary School. Everyone please try to come and support our petition.

COMMENT: Your support in signing the petition is greatly appreciated. However, in order for the BOE to take our petition seriously, we need everyone who signed to attend the board meeting. I believe that will take us further in getting our voices heard. The online petition itself may not carry as much weight as we would like due to the fact there is no way to authenticate the signatures on the list.

PLEASE, we urge everyone to attend the meeting if at all possible.

We, the parents and students of Jackson County Schools, ask the Board of Education to get better tasting food for our schools and have a healthier food environment.

We need foods that are good for us, that we don't have to force ourselves to eat.

We, the undersigned, want better tasting food with a broader variety of food choices at lunch. We request a full self-serve soup, salad, and baked potato bar to be made available everyday at the high school and middle school. This would be monitored, of course.

Please sign this for better school food!

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The Better Food for Jackson County Schools petition to Jackson County Superintendant and Board of Education was written by Anonymous and is in the category Health at GoPetition.