Would you eat a roasted chicken "lunch" at 9:45 a.m.? That's exactly what some Queens middle-schoolers will be treated to their first day back on Thursday, along with "harvest blend rice and seasoned pinto beans." The Post reports that parents of IS 25 students in Whitestone received a letter from Principal Mary Ellen Beirne saying that "brunch" would be served in the morning instead of more traditionally timed lunch. Beirne cited overcrowding for the move, revealing that last year there were simply too many students to accommodate in two lunch periods. This third period "brunch" was created to lighten the lunchtime load. Now 8th graders will be munching mozzarella sticks before most of them have fully woken up for the day.
In the letter, Beirne dismissed concerns over the early meal time, saying that children of that age tend to skip breakfast anyway. School food blogger Bettina Siegel countered that notion and worried about kids making smart choices so soon after their first meal of the day. "Who wants to be eating chili at that hour in the morning?" Beirne questioned. "I would have to think it's going to undercut the consumption of the healthy lunch." Shouldn't the concern also be about kids getting hungry later on in the afternoon?
Considering pizza counts as a vegetable in cafeterias across the country, perhaps students should just take their "Whole-grain penne pasta with Italian Bolognese sauce and garlicky green beans" whenever they can get it.