Step 1: Show me the money.
Given the differential between federal reimbursements and the cost of the meals, the breakfast plan “has the potential to create $8.9 million of new revenue,” according to an internal document. C.P.S. gets as much as $1.76 per student for a meal costing about a buck.
Step 2: Maximize volume via food offerings
One classic—a sausage wrapped inside a pancake on a stick, to be dipped into syrup—was likely filled with saturated fat and calories, [a nutritionist] said. A cold alternative was Rice Krispies, Cheerios and Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats—all of which she found benign—and skim milk.
For the four days, there was not a piece of fresh fruit, there was insufficient whole grains and the orange juice was 100 percent juice but included apple and pear juice (“a money saver”), she said.
Step 3: Parents Revolt.
Meredith Crowley, a CPS parent, said she is upset that the district is serving dessert for breakfast, citing menu items such as chocolate cereal and Rice Krispie bars. She said the district implemented the program largely to generate revenue and plug a budget hole.
“Please give someone at CPS a red pen and ask them to go through the menu at Chartwell’s, ditch the desserts, red-line the Rice Krispie bars, freeze the Frosted Mini-Wheats,” Crowley said. “I will not stand back and let CPS balance the budget on the backs of poor children.”