July 1, 2016
As most of you know, we have been battling with the Louisiana State Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) for a significant amount of time regarding absurd demands in order to continue our lunch program. Their requests for new equipment and changes to the building have proven to be extremely costly and require precious space which is not available at this time. Even though we do not conduct cooking or cleaning of any lunch supplies on premises, they still demand equipment that is used in cafeterias and restaurants. Furthermore, we have been unable to secure a meeting at DHH, as our initial ones were canceled twice by them. A survey was sent to you at the end of the year about lunch at school, and the results were straight down the middle in terms of participation versus bringing lunch from home. Teachers and administration observed the lunch periods during the month of May when all students brought lunches from home. It was found the students were not rushed to eat, the atmosphere was calmer, less trash was collected, and more recess time post lunch was obtained.
Together with the input of experts, faculty, staff and administration, it has been concluded that the best course of action is to discontinue an outside food service for the 2016-2017 school year. This will allow more time to obtain accurate information and study possibilities before spending greater than $25,000 of the school’s budget that has been allocated to instructional expenses. Students will bring lunch from home and milk will be provided through the State of Louisiana Special Milk Program. Pizza will be ordered on Fridays and available to all students for $1.00 per slice. Orders will be placed through the homeroom teachers each week and paid through your FACTS account. Details about this process will be explained in August.
Refunds from the Archdiocesan Food Services are in the mail to families. We appreciate your continued support and pray that your families are enjoying a restful summer.
In His Holy Name,
Fr. Edwin L. Gros, S.J. Jessica A. Dwyer, M.Ed.