ShareThis Page
Monroeville

Parents can choose safe treats to send to Gateway schools

Dillon Carr
| Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, 9:39 a.m.
Gateway School District
Gateway School District

The Gateway School Board of Directors made a change effective immediately to the district’s recently amended food policy after hearing from concerned parents of students with dietary restrictions at its Sept. 17 meeting.

The unanimously approved change allows parents to send allergy-safe treats to classroom celebrations.

Parents claimed the policy, prior to the change, was too limiting with regard to what could be brought into schools.

“This policy makes it more difficult for me to mitigate the isolating and stigmatizing effects of my son’s food allergies,” said parent Lynn Greenway.

Gateway’s health council, made up of administrators and a board member, recommended to the board over the summer an amendment to a student wellness policy restricting foods that come into schools for classroom celebrations and parties. The policy was approved before the start of the school year, said Martin Lorenzo, the district’s food service director.

Lorenzo said some food making its way into the schools lacked a manufacturer seal or ingredients list. It was difficult for teachers, nurses and administrators to monitor which foods came into the classroom, he said.

“We thought it would probably be in the district’s best interest to control outside food coming into the district because of growing allergies in kids over the past decade or so,” he said.

The policy change included the creation of a list from which teachers can order food and drinks for classroom celebrations. One parent, Adrianne Weaver, said she doesn’t trust the food companies on the list because one, Frito-Lay, has had several allergy recalls.

“I feel more confident in my ability to produce a safe product for the children in the class,” Weaver said.

According to the list, there are 18 snack foods and three drinks from which to choose. The district also included a form listing each item’s nutritional information.

Greenway, who said she has four children with extensive food restrictions due to allergies, said her son can only have carrots without Ranch dressing, an apple and possibly a fruit snack from the list when his class has a party or celebration.

After hearing similar concerns from Greenway’s son and other mothers, the board unanimously approved the change.

“I don’t want those kids to be missing out or be having something that is potentially unsafe while we work this out for the next two months,” said Mary Beth Cirucci, board vice president.

District Superintendent Bill Short said he and Lorenzo will meet in October to consider parents’ concerns and make additional changes to the food policy.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, dcarr@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me