Here in Houston, there hasn’t been anything funny about hurricane Harvey and the devastation it’s wrought on our city. But on the first morning of the storm, when the rain and flooding were most intense, I did actually laugh out loud when I learned via Facebook that the Houston Chronicle had chosen that particular day to publish a school food opinion piece I’d submitted a few weeks before.
Talk about shouting into the wind!
But classes have now resumed for many students in the district, so I thought it was worth sharing the piece here.
In it, I discuss Houston ISD’s long and troubling history of turning a blind eye to illegal campus junk food – even after the implementation of Smart Snacks – and how continued junk food sales will only make the job of our wonderful new school food director, Betti Wiggins, exponentially harder.
Post-Harvey, many of our schools are going to be more cash-strapped than ever, and the temptation to raise money through junk food sales will be strong. But even as we grapple with the lingering effects of the storm, feeding kids candy, donuts and fast food to fund their extracurricular activities is just robbing Peter to pay Paul.
What good is an enhanced educational experience if the student has to pay for it with his or her longterm health?
Thanks in advance for reading the piece, and for sharing if you agree.
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