Good piece in BeyondChron today on the improvements our “point-of-sale” (POS) card swipe system will bring to school lunches at the middle- and high-school levels:
It is heartening to see that even in the face of one of the largest budget disasters in recent memory, facing a two year deficit of $113 million, the SFUSD is now piloting a new lunch setup – called the Super Choice Menu – aimed at banishing the stigma and removing the barriers keeping all students from having all choices available to them.
The Super Choice Menu offers several lunch options in the cafeteria, and half a dozen other choices in the former snack bar, but all choices are complete meals, not snacks, and all of them are available to all students. Standing in one lunch line or the other is no longer an indicator of a student’s financial situation – anyone can go to any line and get lunch.
In other words, the POS system makes it possible to have paid- and free/reduced lunch students standing in the same line, and making the same lunch choices. It’s hard to overstate the humiliation (from a middle-scholer’s perspective) of having to stand in the free/reduced lunch line while your friends stand in the paid line. Many would rather skip lunch and go hungry rather than reveal their status. The POS system represents a huge improvement that will also allow us to offer better food choices to every student.