At last month’s Food for Thought Festival in Madison, Martha Pings attended a panel discussion titled “Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children.” Among the panelists was Frank Kelly, director of food services for the Madison school district, who spoke of his desire to provide kids with nutritious food.
Two weeks later, Pings’ daughter came home from O’Keeffe Middle School on Madison’s east side with news that the cafeteria had a new a la carte option: a slushie machine.
The machine drew a backlash from Pings and other O’Keeffe parents, and last week was removed from the school at the request of the principal, Kay Enright (see article, 10/21/10). “I wish they would have asked me to begin with,” says Enright, who agrees the slushies were not “a healthy addition to our menu of choices.”
But there are larger issues here, as Pings, a member of Madison Families for Better Nutrition, related in a letter to school officials posted on the group’s website.