Julie Gratien has a son who is a junior at ES-M High School. She said he has been bringing a packed lunch in much more often this year than in years prior because he is upset with the selection and smaller portions in the cafeteria. Gratien is worried that students who are student-athletes like her son, who runs cross-country, are not able to eat enough to go through practice or games after school.
And some parents complained that their child was told not to bring some snacks or even had the snacks confiscated from them, because they did not meet the new standards.
Neveldine said that is "absolutely not" the purpose of the new policy.
"Parents can send anything they want in with the child, it's up to them," Neveldine said. "When it becomes something given to other kids, then we have to take into account all the parents, so that's what the legislation is talking about really."
The committee also discussed to what extent the policy should be enforced when it comes to out of class activities. For instance, there are school-related fundraisers where students sell cookie dough or pies. Also, there was discussion on whether the policy should restrict the kinds of food served in the concession stands at athletic events.
"I think that's out of control," Gendron said. "We take our kids to the Dome, we take our kids to see the Skychiefs and of course they eat horrible hot dogs and nachos and things but you know that's all part of the experience. You are not going to change that."
These issues for the time being remain unresolved because the committee wanted to conduct further research into the subject and talk to the groups who use these types of fundraisers.
All in all, ES-M is striving to be on the forefront of providing healthy environments in the its schools, but how exactly is a controversial issue with some parents, like Gendron.
"You got to find out what the problem is and find a way to solve it," Gendron said. "They are around it and they're not focusing on it. The problem is if you are going to get kids to eat right, then give them something good to eat. Sit there and eat with a kid and see what they are going through."