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GETTING ANSWERS: Why were some students in Gueydan served Lunchables?

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Posted at 6:07 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 19:18:22-04

GUEYDAN — Parents in Gueydan say their children are not getting proper lunches at school. This comes after a Facebook post made by Jesse Owens Elementary School.

In that statement, the school acknowledged a lunch issue, and apologized that the issue has re-occurred. Administrators say the issue has been resolved, all students were given an alternate meal, and the situation will not happen again.

"I'll send my little one to school with a peanut butter sandwich, she'll come home and ask me to cut it in half because she is sharing it with people in her class," Mandy Breaux said.

Breaux says for several months her daughter, who is in first grade, tells her a Lunchable is what she gets served for lunch. According to Breaux, her child told her the meat has an odor and the cheese is covered in white spots.

"I said did you eat it, she says no, I ate the cookies out of it then they made us throw it away," Breaux said.

"The issue has not been nutritional issue, it has been the quality of the food in those pre-packaged meals," Paul Hebert, the Assistant Superintendent for Vermilion Parish, stated.

According to the School Nutrition Association, school meals must meet age-appropriate calorie minimums. For elementary schools, the minimum is 550 calories for lunch. A turkey and cheese Lunchable has just 260 calories.

Hebert tells us the reason for the change in lunches is because the kitchen at Jesse Owens Elementary is still being rebuilt after being damaged during a hurricane last year.

"We have not had an operational kitchen there in a while, so we went to these pre-packaged meals" Hebert explained.

Hebert says after several complaints, they are not serving the pre-packaged food anymore.

"The restoration process has been held up, not only due to laws, but also due to regulations and insurance requirements, FEMA requirements. We are working through that process," Hebert said.

The Assistant Superintendent says the cafeteria should be complete by the next school year.