Sunday, January 17

Health will evaluate one in three dining rooms after complaints about the menus

Dining room service in one of the schools in the province in the first days of the course.  |  ALEX DOMÍNGUEZ

Dining room service in one of the schools in the province in the first days of the course. | ALEX DOMÍNGUEZ

The representatives of the parents of students are receiving complaints from families for non-compliance with the school menu or, occasionally, for the poor quality of the food, which they refer to the school councils to give a touch to the company in question and propose the change of management if there are no improvements.

This course, there are also protests due to the acceleration of the time in which children have to eat in some schools, as a result of the limited dining shifts required by anticovid measures.

The Department of Health will evaluate throughout this course one in three school canteens to ensure that the measures and requirements of a healthy diet are met. “The composition of the monthly menu will be examined in 33% of schools of any ownership, with or without their own kitchen”, they need.

The school in question will receive a report with the results so that they can adapt the menu to the recommendations of the so-called NAOS strategy on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention, which is in turn recommended by the international health organization, WHO.

From the Confederation of parents of students, Covapa, its president, Sonia Terrero, emphasizes that «from the centers they send the parents the daily menu with supposedly balanced and healthy meals, but there are cases in which they do not feed what they puts and we are forced to claim ».

He points out situations in which the food “is scarce or of poor quality”, although he adds that these situations tend to be tackled by the AMPAs themselves in the school council of the center. “When we are listened to, we tend to change catering companies, hence in some cases the fluctuation of these services is significant.” Purée that tastes like water, excessively tough steaks, fish with too many bones or salads without dressing are some of the most difficult situations in which these parent representatives have been forced to intervene.

The president of the provincial federation of parents of students Enric Valor, Txomin Angós, points out that the complaints, which in turn have been transferred to the territorial direction of Education, refer to the excessive meal shifts and on the spaces for service this year, “and also because children are made to eat too quickly”, abounds. Families are also concerned about the breakdown in the cafeteria of bubble groups of students formed in the classrooms to avoid contagion of the covid.

The Education inspectors have made known to the centers that the dining hours this course can be more flexible, precisely to avoid the rush to eat, and from the Ministry they recall that the dining room monitors have been doubled to maintain anticovid measures.

Concerted students eat at nearby restaurants to save money

A group of students from the Maristas school leave during the dining room schedule with parental permission

The cost of the canteen service in subsidized schools, which practically doubles that of the menu in public schools, is leading some parents of students to change school meals for nearby restaurants, the price of which is assimilated to 4.25 euros a day from a public center.

Specifically, a group of students from the Maristas de Alicante concerted school, with prior written parental permission, -which exempts the school from any responsibility, as confirmed by Education to INFORMATION questions- go daily to a nearby restaurant to eat at 5 euros, compared to the more than 100 euros a month that the menu costs at his school, 7 a day.

Vegetable rice, bouillon with ball, stewed lentils, boiled vegetables, spaghetti carbonara and hors d’oeuvres are some of the dishes, to choose from, offered by the restaurant.

“We always try to make it varied and healthy and on Friday, as something extraordinary, we let them choose from the menu, although we are aware so that they do not abuse wings or croquettes”, Estefanía Alonso points out from the restaurant itself.

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