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Schools to finally clean the crap out of the tuck-shops

By johnboy - 25 September 2005 42

The Canberra Times is reporting that after far too long moves are afoot to clean out the crap food sold in schools, turning our kiddies into blimps.

Will we see any investigation into the incentives offered and accepted to allow these obviously harmfull things to be sold in our schools?

What’s Your opinion?

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42 Responses to
Schools to finally clean the crap out of the tuck-shops
Snarky 2:29 pm 26 Sep 05

Maelinar, I’m not trying to be rude, but I can’t understand what you’re saying. What proposition are you putting forward here?

Thumper 2:28 pm 26 Sep 05

Why is it in this day and age of social awareness we no longer seem to have social responsibility?

Maelinar 2:22 pm 26 Sep 05

It’s actually a sad state of affairs that they are actually looking at reintroducing a quart of milk per student per day anyway.

I think that it’s an extremely valid idea of T_Bone’s, one for which certainly those in the academic field whom they so pride themselves on their forethought and intellect are so defunct they couldn’t introduce or manage the idea themselves.

Albeit they are a bit too busy anyway dealing with reporting on their students progress every 5 to 6 minutes, in order to establish if the child is Above Level, Below Level, too high on Ridilin, ADD, or the gamut of other scholatory excuses to say that we were simply too busy to teach your child anything because we were too busy covering our butts with a nice wad of beaurecratic armour.

It’s times like this that we should be looking at what is being done at the Gubbermental level regarding the overarching policy that the schools are required to follow.

aka the Govt says “you have to supply a lunch menu for the children that is made avaliable to parents for them to order lunches off”, then schools have to comply.

I for one think it would be a good idea to implement, although in this day and age of ‘It’s not my responsibility, but you should have been doing all you can’, it certainly would be difficult narrowing down the onus of accountability. (hence why there needs to be a policy from above, or more social responsibility taken – guess which I’m thinking would come first ?).

Might be a more beneficial thing to work on than pissfarting around with giving private schools more and more money or selling Telstra at the nearest convenience, but somebody voted for them.

Snarky 2:16 pm 26 Sep 05

Hi T-Bone, thanks for putting a bit of thought in. There are a couple of drawbacks, unfortunately – the firts being that few canteens have credit card processing facilities. Most schools do, but that’s a different account system – it’d be a bit like asking Woden Plaza management to process a credit card transaction for a Muffin Break customer’s purchase. Credit card facilities aren’t free, and will eat into the slim margins most canteens run at, and you will definitely have a huge problem with parents who then demand refunds because their child “was away for one day” / “said the food was inedible” / “forgot their lunch was there.” I’m aware that last lot sounds cynical, and i guess it it,but it WILL happen and it WILL cause more trouble than it’s worth.

Bulldog’s comment re affordability I actually think misses the mark a little. It’s not the P&Cs responsibility to make sure every kid in a school is fed, although it’s a worthy ambition. The school might choose to help here by using the resources of the canteen, but they (the school) would pay the canteen to do so, and would in turn generally get money from the Dept of Ed or other interested body to do so.

And Thumper’s comments re the breakfast program is also correct – but the last snag is that even if parents know there’s a good meal there and the Dept pays for it and the canteen provides it… if the child still doesn’t turn up to eat it because they’d rather go and buy a Mars Bar, well what do you do?

T-Bone’s right. Canteens don’t grow overweight kids, parents do. My own experience is that parents have until their child enters high school to influence their eating AND EXERCISE habits. After that, peer pressure takes over and the best you can hope for is some tangential and indirect influence at best. Really, the child is on their own because they will choose to be. If you haven’t laid the groundwork early on then you’ve missed your chance. Sorry.

Thumper 1:33 pm 26 Sep 05

In the States they used to have lunch provided every day. It something that the government could look into but would cost a fortune and so would not be financially attractive.

Thumper 1:31 pm 26 Sep 05

A lot of schools already run a breakfast program which is pretty successful, one, the kids come to school, two, they actually get something to eat.

As for lunch, that is a little more difficult and sadly one really has to go back to the parents being responsible.

bulldog 1:26 pm 26 Sep 05

Sound idea T_Bone, however many parents simply could not afford this system. I know more than a couple of teachers and they are amazed at the number of children arrivng at school without having eaten breakfast and with no plans for lunch. How do we try and include these kids as well?

Maelinar 11:37 am 26 Sep 05

quick, shoot the thinker !!!

T_Bone 11:34 am 26 Sep 05

Here’s an idea. Why not run the canteen like a meal delivery business. Take money upfront from the parents (credit card) for providing their child with healthy lunches for the week or a number of days. The canteen can provide a menu of lunch options that the parents can sit down with their child and select for the week. At lunch the child goes to the canteen and picks up the pre-ordered lunch. If the lunch doesn’t get picked up the canteen isn’t out of pocket because it is already paid for.
This way the money goes straight to the canteen, solving the problem of it finding the local shop, and the parents know their child is provided with a healthly lunch.
The canteen would have to keep the menu interesting enough to ensure repeat business. An addition could be the canteen helping parents that already have overweight kids with dietry info, and lunches to help them lose weight. I am sure some parents would be greatful to know there money isn’t being spent on those king size mars bars. Just an idea.

T_Bone 11:16 am 26 Sep 05

I am with you Snarky. Canteens don’t grow overweight kids, parents do. Personally I enjoyed the greasy stuff I could buy from my school canteen, but my parents only allowed me to have it once a week.

Thumper 10:14 am 26 Sep 05


I think everyone acknowledges the situation that the P&cs are in regarding funding. As such I believe that the government should take this one step further and commit extra funding to schools to make up for the shortfall that will most probably occur due to this policy.

bonfire 10:13 am 26 Sep 05

parents could start by not putting bags of crisps and mini fun size chocolate bars in the kids lunchboxes.

having said that, i used to like a pie at lunch on a winter day when i was at school. and who can forget the sausage roll in a roll…

Snarky 9:54 am 26 Sep 05

I’ve got kids in both primary and secondary school and I’m involved in both sets of P&Cs, and I don’t think the issue is as cut-and-dried as you might like to think. First, P&Cs run many canteens. That is – the canteens are run by parents even though many employ managers to do the day-to-day running. So, if there’s “crap”, “obviously harmful things” being sold “turning our kiddies into blimps” then it’s with the consent of parents to start with. if you’re a parent and you don’t like this then GET INVOLVED! Most P&Cs and canteens are screaming for extra help. Second, the canteens that are run by P&Cs return the money to the school – generally donating tens of thousands of dollars a year into the school and that buys a hell of a lot that the Dept of Ed will not, and it’s money that comes (natch) from parents anyway, because that’s who gives kids the money to start with. And third, most schools in teh ACT appear to be quite close to local shops, at least where i am in Weston Creek. As my canteens have cut junk food out, kids simply buy up big before or after school (or even go out at lunchtime) and buy it from the local shops anyway. Good food gets left at the canteen – fruit can go unsold for a week – but you’ll find kingsize Mars Bar wrappers scattered over the playground in a trail pointing to the local IGA. The shops get the money, the canteen’s left with unsold helathy food and teh schools down a few more dollars at the end of the year. What do we do? Any sensible answers, please leave them here because a generation of parents who don’t like this situation have yet to come up with a good solution.

Thumper 7:33 am 26 Sep 05

Its about time. Kudos for the government and Department for getting this in place and not pandering to the obvious money making grab by the P&Cs through selling junk food.

Samuel Gordon-Stewar 12:14 pm 25 Sep 05

The sad things is most of the food in there doesn’t even taste good. I must say that a lot of the hot food at Dickson College’s canteen is only hot by name…they do make reasonable coffee though…

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