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Lunch program is a group effort

Re: Schools are a serving short of common sense, editorial, Oct. 23.

I have worked for 10 years in the Pinellas County school cafeterias. Are you aware that our jobs are based on so many lunches sold for so many work hours? As numbers go down, so do our jobs. Free lunches are not a choice we are given.

If Bill Hines is so irate, why isn't he more active in the school system so he wouldn't be so "surprised" at how things are, and he could reimburse the fund before anyone is so distressed as Holly was? If you are not part of the solution, you are the problem.

There isn't enough money for books and teachers. And you want money for lunches? All you parents out there, pay for your child's lunch so we can feed everyone.

As for businesses helping the schools, we have a sponsorship program in place now. Anyone out there interested?

As for meal choices, the government controls this. Write to them if you are unhappy.

Mary Sickafus, Oldsmar

Child is not true picture

of starving victim

Re: Schools are a serving short of common sense, editorial, Oct. 23.

Only in affluent America would a child who lost her money receive no consequences from her parents but instead would be thought of as a victim.

Why does the vision of a tiny, starving baby with a bloated stomach, pencil-thin arms and legs and flies in its eyes keep appearing in my mind whenever I think of poor Holly?

Barbara Hungerford, Palm Harbor

Vegetable plate is more

healthy than a hot dog

Re: Empty till takes pizazz out of girl's school lunch, article, Oct. 22.

I think it is ridiculous to make a big deal about having to eat bread and corn. That sounds far more appetizing than chemically preserved and flavored byproducts of animals that have been brutally slaughtered. To me and the ever-growing number of vegetarians, corn sounds exceedingly more nutritious and appetizing. If you are worried about the protein aspect, eat some beans.

Anna Burnett-Cournoyer, age 14, Ozona

Workers weathered storm

to feed students

For the past week or so, I have been reading about how bad Pinellas County school cafeterias are _ taking the lunch away from small, hungry children who lose their money, children going home hungry. Well, we all will remember the storm that flew across Pinellas County on Monday. Because of that storm, my staff, teachers, plant operations, supporting services and I hand-delivered lunch to 500 students in their classrooms at Seminole Elementary.

Weathering the rain, lightning, ankle-deep puddles and all else to ensure the students' safety, keeping the students in their rooms, all the staff at Seminole Elementary worked together to make sure the students were fed.

The only ones who didn't get fed were the adults, who were too busy feeding the students. The teachers didn't even get their lunchtime because they needed to stay with their students to make sure they were secure.

The staff of Seminole Elementary, like many other schools, is a caring group of people. You see, if you work for the school system, you have to be a special person because these things happen and we do our jobs, which is to feed and nourish the children. These students will remember this and, personally, I am proud to be a part of such a caring system as Pinellas County schools. Is this dedication or what?

Maureen Williams, food service manager,

Seminole Elementary School

Parents should feed kids

to ensure success

Re: Empty till takes pizazz out of girl's school lunch, article, Oct. 22.

Your photograph and article were a bit dramatic, don't you think? Judging by the expressions on the father's and daughter's faces in the photo, you would think something absolutely dreadful had happened to them. Well, I guess it did. Instead of a hot dog for lunch, the poor child was given bread, corn, juice and milk. Somebody call the authorities.

Bread, corn, juice and milk are all items that fulfill daily requirements for the different food groups. Can anyone tell me which food group the hot dog satisfies?

With all the problems and concerns our schools encounter every day, why would you publicize this school as if it actually did something terribly wrong? Parents who have children borrow from the lunch fund should absolutely be responsible and pay back the money immediately. If the parents don't respond, then it's the parents who should be blamed for the depleted fund.

The best way to assure your children a successful day at school is to feed them healthy meals yourself. If by some chance your child does misplace his lunch or lunch money and is subjected to that dreadful vegetable plate at school for one day, relax. He will survive and probably be better off.

Denise Kunschaft, Clearwater

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