The Grand Prairie Independent School District (GPISD) Board of Trustees got a surprise at its monthly public meeting Thursday night, where parents showed up to raise awareness about the allegedly poor quality of school lunches their children are being served.
“It needs to be addressed,” said GPISD parent Cynthia Orozzo, speaking with CBS 11. “It needs to be changed. Our kids deserve better.”
Some district parents had heard from their children that they were refusing to eat their school lunches, opting to miss the meal instead.
“It’s outrageous,” said Edgar Suarez.” If you’re hungry, you’re not going to concentrate. You’re going to be thinking of what you want to eat when you get home.”
Suarez told CBS 11 that he had gone to GPISD’s child nutrition advisory meeting on Monday, where he met other district parents similarly distressed by the quality of food being served to their children.
They had pictures taken of the meals being served and printed them alongside the stills used on the district’s cafeteria schedule to highlight the difference between what the district is advertising and what it is serving.
“They got to switch providers, whoever is providing this, so that our kids can eat better and not worry about where their next meal is coming from,” said Suarez.
While GPISD school lunches are sourced from different vendors who provide particular items or ingredients, the district is currently partnered with Southwest Foodservice Excellence LLC (SFE), a food service management company specializing in school meals, to run its operations.
SFE has made news in the past over the quality of its services, with parents and students raising similar concerns to those at GPISD. School districts in Missouri, Colorado, and Pennsylvania either canceled contracts with SFE or induced it to make changes to its operations in recent years.
Sam Buchmeyer, a spokesperson for the district, told CBS 11 that SFE representatives and officials from GPISD’s Child Nutrition Department were present at the meeting on Thursday and listened to the upset parents.
“They have already met several times to see what they can do to address those concerns,” Buchmeyer claimed.