Education

Sep 9, 2013 6:48 PM by Chris Welty

Parents Concerned About School Lunch Times

Parents at J. Wallace James Elementary School in Lafayette are concerned their students are eating lunch too late.

The school starts serving lunch at 11:00 and moves in grade order starting with pre-k. Fourth and fifth graders do not eat until 1:30.

More than 700 students go through the lunch line everyday. It takes nearly two and a half hours to feed the campus.

"If they eat a good breakfast to prepare for the day knowing lunch is so late, it would probably be to their benefit," said Child Nutrition Director Renee Sherville.

J. Wallace James is a school of choice and starts at 8:45 which is later than most schools in the district. The campus serves breakfast at eight o'clock. Federal regulations mandate a three hour gap between serving breakfast and lunch.

"As an adult, we aren't expected to wait 6 1/2 hours to eat," says Selina Trahan. Her daughter eats breakfast at home and is frustrated she has to wait until 1:30 to eat lunch.

"It's not good nutrition wise, health wise and it hurts her metabolism. She gets sick and she doesn't get off the bus until after 5:00," says Trahan.

Stacey Lejeune is ok with her son eating late as long as he's eating during the day.

"There's so many grades, they have to fit these kids at a certain time."

Child Nutrition Director Renee Sherville says that 1:30 is the latest serving time. Federal law requires lunches be served between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Some parents want healthy snack breaks during the day for their kids, but administrators say that's not likely because it will take away instructional time.

Most other elementary schools in Lafayette Parish start serving lunch around 10:15, with the last group of students being fed between noon and one o'clock.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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