HUNTSVILLE, Ala., (WHNT) — Complaints from the parents of Grissom High School students have turned the issue of school lunches into a wide-ranging conversation about the district’s health foods policy.
The conversation has opened the door for parents from other North Alabama school districts to chime in.
Most of those are in reaction to this week’s rebuttal from the Huntsville City Schools’ nutrition director, Henry Ward.
As previously reported, parental concerns about the lunch served at Grissom have run rampant with the conversation raising a grab bag of issues about what the school district’s nutrition policy is.
A tray of Doritos, meat, and beans was served to children and parents say they were unaware of what was being served. Ward says the menu is available to both parents and students but the parents, who did not want to be identified, say something is broken in the school’s nutrition program.
“The school system needs to do their part and they need to do it now,” an anonymous parent told News 19. “They don’t need to do it next semester, they don’t need to do it next year, they need to do it next week.”
Schools around North Alabama shared complaints about the lack of quality food and the dietary needs of kids. Ward told News 19 that the food that was served in the tray was not regular Doritos — it was a healthier brand.
“We don’t serve regular Doritos first of all,” Ward explained. “All of our Doritos are low fat, and all of our chips are baked.”
One parent disagreed.
“For him to claim that they don’t serve those… [it’s] obvious that he was wrong,” they said.
The description from Ward prompted a mass response from parents on social media, followed by posts of other items served in the cafeteria. The parents say that the kids at Grissom do not have an option of choosing their lunch.
“If most kids are going through a line making choices, then there shouldn’t be too many schools that aren’t getting that so why can’t they double up efforts on the schools that don’t have that opportunity and make sure that those kids aren’t getting the choices have the same nutritional lunches that those other ones are,” the parent said.
Parents say they wanted to deflect the attention that Grissom has received from this controversy.
They say they would like the school’s nutrition director to take a second look at what is being served and raise the value of nutrition.
“I can imagine that Grissom’s staff and faculty are just as frustrated,” a parent explained. “They work so hard to give our kids a positive environment to help them grow.”