Jose' Andre's is in the news again



I hope she takes the opportunity. I follow their site (I support World Central Kitchen financially,) and follow on Instagram and they’re a remarkable, inspiring group of people. The food porn they post is pretty drool worthy, too. They not only feed people- they feed them well.


Hi Chowdom - Re the attempt to accent José Andrés’s name, I stumbled on a tablet feature your device may share. If I hold my finger on a letter, a window showing the diacritical marks opens. You slide onto the window to select and tap the correct one.


I’m having a bit of a problem with the backstory. Lunch Lady fed this kid an $8 school lunch? Did he get a beer and pomme frites with that?


Thank you very much … I hate and almost never use our tablets or laptops, all apple and intuitive … I’m a dinosaur and prefer my desktop. I forgot all windows shortcuts, I followed instructions and it was a total fail regardless. I very much appreciate your post :slight_smile:

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Are you unaware of the private for profit businesses contracted to sell school lunches in schools? They aren’t feeding children out of the goodness of their hearts.


French fries? Do they appreciate in value if called by their Gallic name? I’m outta public school a while now, but French fries were pretty standard lunch fare., if memory serves.

Before I wrote my comment (which was meant to be snarky & tongue-in-cheek) I Googled the cost of providing school lunch. Scores of references came back. NY Times,, local community media outlets, the Federal Government all reported on this. So, here’s one reference I just chose randomly. It’s consistent in numbers with what I read elsewhere.

I also had no intent to criticize Chef Jose Andre and the good works his companies do.

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I don’t know how the US system functions, but here in France, school meal costs about 8 euros for each student, some journalists did a reportage that the real cost of the meal was about or less than 1€, the other 7€ + went to the intermediates benefiting the subsidy from the city (tax payers’ money). When they looked at the ingredients used, it was processed food without lots of additives and frozen food of very inferior quality, cheese that was only chemical and colourings that have no nutrition value, and of course no fresh food.

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Think airline meals in a school setting.
Unfortunately, many schools these days have eliminated their kitchens and just have warning/reheating facilities that the meals are delivered to each morning.
And the contracts mean schools have almost no voice in implementation.

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“Media Statement Regarding the Firing of Mascoma Valley Regional High School Food Service Employee

Fresh Picks Café President Brian Stone said, The student in these stories got a lunch.

Students at Mascoma Valley get a lunch regardless of whether they can pay. They receive a healthy lunch of an entrée or sandwich, plus side dishes or fresh fruit and milk. School policy is no additional items like cookies can be charged, they have to have money in their account or must pay cash. An employee would not be let go because they provided the healthy standard lunch to a student.

The student in this case came down the line with a full lunch plus oven fries and 2 packages of cookies. When the student got up to the cashier, she grabbed a Powerade and added it to his tray, then let the student take the full lunch allowed by school policy and also the four additional items. Not only should she not have allowed the additional a la carte items, but she did not record or charge any of the items, including the main lunch, to the student account so they could be paid in the future.

How many kids each day show up without enough lunch money for everything they want?
What do you do? You have procedures in place that make sure kids can have something to eat and you make sure the school’s dollars are handled responsibly.

In consultation with the school district about the current policies for handing student transactions, we have offered to rehire our recently terminated employee and provide her back pay and we will work with the school district to revise policies and procedures regarding transactions. We will then work with our manager and this employee on these policies.

As a bigger issue, not every student has money to pay for lunch. We deal with this every day at Mascoma Valley, where all students can receive a full healthy lunch, regardless of ability to pay, and for students not on a free or reduced lunch plan, the balance is accrued… This issue of food insecurity affects communities across the country and we at Fresh Picks work sensitively with students every day. At the end of the day it’s about kids being fed.”

From the Cafe Services FB Page. Supersedes their earlier non-apology.
Hasn’t stopped them from being royally raked over the coals.

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I read a similar version of this statement also put out by the food service, but different enough to still make me question what actually happened


From what I read in my local paper today, the student did bring the $8 the next day. And they still fired her.

I recall in my grade school (the 70s . . . when no lunch could cost $8) sometimes forgetting my lunch money. I was never “lunch shamed.” Mrs. Bates knew my parents, knew they were good for it, and I suspect if they weren’t good for it she or another parent would toss in the buck.


I should add Sodexo is our local purveyor, not the company in the original story. But we went round and round with them trying to modify our program when my kids were kids.
They’re now those dreaded millennials!

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Sodexo used to be my husband’s office canteen provider as well.

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WT_ is going on here


Curiouser and curiouser…


I saw this story when it first appeared and missed this.

Ah, high school where no person ever has made a dubious decision. All kidding aside, the incident has brought needed attention to the issue of food insecurity—even if that is not actually the case here. I hope that people don’t lose sight that food insecurity is a serious and real issue however this story unravels.