St. Landry Parish superintendent Patrick Jenkins says the viral photos of pitiful-looking school lunches aren't telling the whole story.

Facebook user Josh Leger posted the following photo of a St. Landry school lunch on his page calling the dismal offering "a problem." Soon, comments poured in on the public Facebook post with people sharing similar stories, outraged by the poor quality of the St. Landry Parish school lunches.

While the photo only shows tortilla chips, french fries, and some type of fruit ensemble, St. Landry Parish superintendent Patrick Jenkins tells KATC that "the photos aren't telling the whole story." The full offering for the day included:

  • Nachos with Cheese Sauce
  • French Fries
  • Sliced Peaches / Apples / Oranges
  • Milk Choice
  • Corn

Based on that information the photo is missing corn and the dipping sauce. Personally, I don't know how much more appealing that would make this meal look, but Jenkins says optics are playing a part in making the lunch offerings seem a lot worse than they really are.

I know sometimes children might not put every food group presented to them on their plate, making this photograph very deceiving. We are a Community Eligibility Provision [fns.usda.gov] (CEP) district. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a non-pricing meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas. CEP allows the nation’s highest poverty schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications. In addition, we are currently operating under our summer feeding program. Students should take all items on the menu for that day, whether they consume it or not.

Parents who commented on Leger's viral Facebook post shared upsetting photos along with their outrage at what the kids are being served at school.

Facebook, Josh Leger
Facebook, Josh Leger

Jenkins also told KATC that he believes the people working in the St. Landry Parish cafeterias have done a "good job" considering all the restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook, Josh Leger
Facebook, Josh Leger

While parents continue to vent their frustrations on Facebook the superintendent says they should contact the school with their concerns.

If parents have any concerns regarding meals, they can contact their school's cafeteria manager or principal to try to resolve their concerns

To see what is being served to children daily at St. Landry Parish schools, check out the full story here via KATC.

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