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Sioux Falls School District superintendent responds

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If you’re a parent or a former student, you’ve eaten and/or packed at least one of these four classic lunches – whether you liked it or not.
Kinfay Moroti/news-press.com

Giving Sioux Falls kids a green banana was a mistake, said a local school district leader.

Sioux Falls School District Superintendent Brian Maher spoke with media outlets Wednesday morning in response to a viral photo of an undesirable Sioux Falls elementary school lunch posted to Facebook by a parent Tuesday.

The photo featured a green banana, lettuce, a small portion of chicken in a “cardboard” tortilla and refried beans “that have no taste,” said parent Mandy Berkhof, who posted it on Facebook. The image went semi-viral Tuesday, with around 1,400 shares and 700 comments by Wednesday morning. 

Brian Maher

More: Green bananas and gristly chicken: Sioux Falls school lunch goes viral on Facebook

“That’s certainly not the kind of image we want to portray,” Maher said. “If you’re going to judge our food service program by that picture, you’re going to get incomplete (information).”

The district serves over 15,500 lunches each day. The district has processes to ensure the kids get a nutritious meal every day, he said. A child nutrition services committee made of people from the district, nutrition services, student and parents meet to discuss what food should be served, but portion sizes are determined by the government. 

“Those (portion sizes) are government standards,” Maher said. “Was that light? I really don’t know that.”

School lunches are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Individual districts are responsible for following the strict guidelines of including protein, whole grains, fruit and vegetables. 

The district makes food in-house, but receives ingredients from multiple vendors, Maher said.

He doesn’t blame the district’s fruit vendor for the green banana. 

“The product wasn’t poor,” Maher said. “The fact we put it out on Tuesday was poor. Maybe we should have put it out on Thursday. We served a lot of green bananas yesterday. There’s no good reason for that.” 
 

Read or Share this story: http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2018/02/14/superintendent-responds-viral-photo-criticizing-school-lunch/337421002/



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