Parents Rally to Save Classroom Breakfasts

Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, April 30, 2013

Union officials representing school cafeteria workers led a noisy rally of parents Tuesday to save a Los Angeles Unified classroom breakfast program that feeds nearly 200,000 children but was in danger of being axed after sharp criticism by teachers.

Even as the majority of L.A. Unified school board members indicated they would vote to continue the program, about 100 parents turned out at Hooper Elementary in South L.A., waving noisemakers and signs in Spanish and English to save the breakfasts.

One mother, Janet Torrez, said her two sons prefer to eat at school rather than at home but that a previous before-school meal program didn’t work because the children chose to play instead. The classroom breakfast, she said, ensures that her sons start their school day with a nutritious meal.


The program’s fate was thrown into question last week when L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy said he would eliminate it without explicit board direction to retain it. He said United Teachers Los Angeles had complained that serving breakfast in the classroom, rather than before school in the cafeteria, took up too much instructional time and created messes.

Courtni Pugh, executive director of Service Employees International Union Local 99, said she believed the momentum has shifted to save the program, preserving more than 900 cafeteria jobs. But she added that the union would continue to lead rallies at other schools this week.


Earlier this month, the teachers union posted a video and online poll findings showing that more than half of 729 respondents said the classroom breakfast program had increased pests, created messes and consumed an average of 30 minutes of instructional time per day. That lost time, the union said, amounted to eight school days.

But union President Warren Fletcher said his members were willing to sit down and discuss alternatives. He attended the Hooper Elementary rally in what he said was a show of support for school service workers and to press for more custodial jobs to clean up after breakfast. He added that union officials are meeting with parents, community groups, nutrition advocates and others to seek solutions to concerns over sanitation, loss of teaching time and the quality of the breakfast items.


Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • The__Bobster

    Even as the majority of L.A. Unified school board members indicated they would vote to continue the program, about 100 parents turned out at Hooper Elementary in South L.A., waving noisemakers and signs in Spanish and English to save the breakfasts.

    Well, it’s not like the squat monsters are paying for it.

    • So CAL Snowman

      They have all the time in the world to march around and protest, but not enough time to make their precious children breakfast!

      • Non Humans

        Or find jobs.

        • Greg Thomas

          Pumping out anchor babies and collecting welfare is their “job.”

        • Erasmus

          Or learn English.

    • sbuffalonative

      Signs in Spanish you say.

  • The__Bobster

    In some cities, they do. In my area, during winter vacation, the schools demanded to stay open because they were feeding stations for the 47%.

    • tickyul

      Been going on for a long, long time. I grew up in a white, middle class neighborhood back in the 70’s in Seattle. Even then the parks department had a summer lunch program… sack lunches for all the starving middle class kids.

    • C B

      In some ways, from the race realist perspective, the worse things get in the short term, the better things may be in the long term. The revolution is coming, but the lefties may find its a revolution against them. Let’s hope so; such a revolution is the last hope for civilization.

  • How did we ever make it during the first 200 years of this country without free breakfasts in schools? Just think, if we were handing out free breakfasts back in the 1940’s we would have landed a man on neptune instead of just the moon. OR, more likely, we would have never landed even on the moon.

    • MekongDelta69

      We would have landed on… Welfare. Just like… Oh wait… Reminds me of certain other groups, who never landed on Pluto or the Moon (Honeymooners ref.)…

    • sbuffalonative

      I ask myself that same question.

      How did we ever make it to the 1960 without all these programs?

      And how did countries survive without the loving, maternal guidance of the ‘modern economist’? How did we ever get anything done without them?

    • Greg Thomas

      The answer is we were still a majority White nation, without millions of third world mongrels, demanding the government take care of them

  • APaige

    “The classroom breakfast, she said, ensures that her sons start their school day with a nutritious meal.” I thought she should ensure her sons start with a meal?

    • Mr Potato

      Is there anything more hopeless that parents that can’t even manage to feed their own children?

      • tickyul

        Yes, a brokeass women who PURPOSELY has baby after baby…..because she knows Big Brother will support her and her spawn.

      • Paleoconn

        Oh they’re perfectly able. They just prefer you feed them. That way, they can spend their cash on cigs and lottery.

        • And sending it back to Methico as “remittances”. God forbid they should be impeded in their efforts to bleed money out of our economy!

    • Erasmus

      And the clowns in Washington want to amnesty tens of millions of Janet Torreces. 3rd world America, here we come.

    • purestocles

      “Janet Torrez, said her two sons prefer to eat at school rather than at home…”.

      What kind of breakfast is she putting down in front of them that they prefer institutional food to hers?

      Sounds like SHE prefers her two sons to eat at school.

      • Why not? More money for beer and lotto tickets if Julio gets his breakfas’ at de skool. Si?

  • One mother, Janet Torrez, said her two sons prefer to eat at school rather than at home but that a previous before-school meal program didn’t work because the children chose to play instead. The classroom breakfast, she said, ensures that her sons start their school day with a nutritious meal.

    You have got to be kidding me. Mom can’t get get the students to eat at home but:

    Free breakfast isn’t enough because the “students” just stay out in the schoolyard to play?
    So it has to be in the classroom, so the “hungry” school children are forced to eat?

  • bigone4u

    Hillary Clinton and her “it takes a village” meme in action in LA: The mentality of forcing others to pay for our food would have been anathema to my ancestors, as it is to me. The entitlement mentality seems to predominate in the black and brown races. Since these people are not of my village, the white village, let them seek help from their own villagers.

  • Diamond_Lil

    You should see what the cafeteria area looks like after lunch in these Latino high schools. Iron Eye’s Cody would immolate himself. There’s a reason why L.A. area teachers do not want food in the classrooms. They are trashy people. It’s their culture.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      This. Hispanics throw garbage everywhere. They just do. Hispanics were a significant minority at my high school, and they always left disgusting tables in the lunchroom after lunch.

      The only ones who were messier than them were the Somalis.

      • Ngati Pakeha

        Please let me register my shock & surprise that the filth of de Los Conquistadores was ONLY bettered by the hostes humanis generis – Blacks!

      • andyvanm

        You can not have a first world Country populated with third world people over populating it.

  • Diamond_Lil

    Almost all of these Mexican students never bring paper, pencils or tissue for blowing their nose. They ask for hand lotion and hand sanitizer too. They expect the teacher to provide these things. I am speaking about high school students.

    • me

      Yeah, that’s it in a nutshell….these ‘undocumented workers’ didn’t come to build a better life for themselves–they came for the US taxpayer to build a better life FOR them, and they sit back and enjoy the fruits of others’ labor, with the blessings of the corporate welfare queens and the renegade,treasonous Congress…

  • Funruffian

    “Union officials representing school cafeteria workers led a noisy rally of parents Tuesday to save a Los Angeles Unified classroom breakfast program that feeds nearly 200,000 children but was in danger of being axed after sharp criticism by teachers.”
    For once the teachers got this one right! i am fully opposed to free breakfast and lunch for these ghetto Blacks, Mexicans and the few White trash kids. To begin with, half of that food goes directly in the trash. I have seen whole pints of milk and uneaten apples get thrown away. Some homeless veterans could have eaten that BTW. Besides, allowing these reprobates to eat in class causes more stress and work for the teachers. These Blacks never clean after themselves so someone else is left to clean up their mess, grime and trash. I have to pay for my breakfast, why the hell can’t they pay for their own. Welfare progrms have been extended into the school programs where thousands of teachers are forced to tolerate this BS. These kids spread germs and waste vegetation and dairy products every day.

    • “Union officials… led a noisy rally.”

      Gimme, gimme gimme!

      No suprises here.

      • Greg Thomas

        Yeah, if they cannot teach them, just waste time feeding them. The pay is the same.

  • Homo_Occidentalis

    In a speech in 1962, Ex-President Dwight Eisenhower opined that the pioneer spirit (read: self-reliance, dignity, modesty) was disapeering among Americans. It’s a good thing he died well before he could see these “Americans” show their inability to feed their own children before school and pack a simple lunch in a paper bag. The democrats are purposefully trying to eradicate individualism at its earliest instances.

    Edit: a link to the speech here:

  • crystal evans

    These parents are too lazy to get up in the morning and feed their kids breakfast. That is why they want the breakfast program. Not because they do not have the means to feed their kids.

    • K

      Hard to get up before noon when you stay up all night partying and smoking blunts.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      Also, considering that most of the kids who are on the free breakfast/lunch program also get food stamps, we’re paying for their meals twice.

      The parents are being coddled and pampered by the government, and even then they still can’t stop complaining. We pay for their kids’ meals over and over and they can’t even get off their asses to pour a bowl of cereal.

      • You forgot AFDC, which means their meals are being paid for by YT three times over.

        • GeneticsareDestiny

          AFDC is now known as TANF, but yes, you’re right. And somehow, even with all this government largesse flowing into their pockets, minority parents still can’t feed their children.

  • crystal evans

    Lack of parental discipline in my book. If the kids do not eat when they are supposed to, they will go without. After several bouts of hunger, they will never miss a meal again.

  • 1proactive2

    So the report says:
    “One mother, Janet Torrez, said her two sons prefer to eat at school rather than at home but that a previous before-school meal program didn’t work because the children chose to play instead. The classroom breakfast, she said, ensures that her sons start their school day with a nutritious meal”
    This comment completely describes the cognitive map of those who live off others. It obviously does not remotely occur to this woman that the children she brought into the world are her responsibility. Her idea of being a “good parent’, in this instance, is to make sure the school provide for her children a nutritious meal.
    This nation is lost.

    • me

      Parasites kill the host they feed off of….

  • What did these greaser brats eat before they were old enough to start attending school?

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      Soda and chips, paid for by whitey through EBT.

    • tech

      Let’s see…they eat from WIC until they are 5, and then also headstart, and then school. Everything is provided for them.

      • Except intelligence.

        • me

          Don’t forget the English language, self-respect, respect for others, respect for the law, pride, self-reliance, ambition, accountability, responsibility, frugality, hygiene, manners, assimilation, appreciation, gratitude, etc. etc….

  • Don’t these people already get food stamps? WTF?

    The parents are just too lazy to fix breakfast for their children….and lunch…

    Takers in society who have NO pride….pathetic.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    If her sons are choosing to play instead, they’re obviously not that hungry. I don’t blame them. I never eat breakfast because I’m not hungry early in the morning.

    Also, considering the incredibly high rates of obesity among Hispanics in America, it will probably do them some good to skip a few calories.

    • Greg Thomas

      I have yet to see a starving mexican in California. They don’t exist.

  • Angry White Woman

    Breakfast in the classrooms? What next? My kids ate lunch at school, but never breakfast, and never in the classroom. On the other hand, I attended a smallish, non-catholic Church school, grades 1-8, and carried my lunch every day, because there was no lunch (or other food) program at all.

    • Angry White Woman

      Oh, and might I add, they also never ate free? Lunches were paid for at the office ahead of time, at the first of every month.

      • Greg Thomas

        That was before were invaded by mexico. Now it takes a “village” to feed illegal mexicans.

    • IstvanIN

      We occasionally had hoagie day, but no grammar school cafeteria, we ate at our desks, cleaned up and went out to play.

    • Greg Thomas

      That’s because your kids are White, reasonably behaved and take an interest in learning. Illegal invading mexicans and their anchor babies do not care about learning, are horribly behaved, and always looking for the next handout.
      Combine the LAUSD liberal mantra and you have the latest in education philosophies.

      They cannot teach these peasants, so they may as well waste class time feeding
      them. The teacher even gets help from little juan’s illegal invading madre to serve
      up breakfast. It’s a multicults dream. Illegal invaders being fed, and teachers
      still getting paid while feeling good about themselves for making sure fat
      mexicans are not going hungry.

      Welcome to mexico.

    • Greg Thomas

      This is not about teaching or feeding hungry kids. This is about liberals admitting they cannot teach illegal mexicans and anchor babies and developing creative ways to waste as much class time as possible. Feeding kids is the perfect way to do that.

  • freddy_hills

    I have a dream… that schools across the country do away with their kitchens altogether. Instead, kids eat sack lunches brought from home. And the cafeteria staff all get jobs in the private sector.

    I wonder how much money that would save taxpayers? I’m thinking billions.

    • Yes, but…

      In northern climates, a hot lunch in the winter really cheers a person up. That said, the diversitoids demonstrating in the article here were in Los Angeles.

      • IstvanIN

        I brought my lunch all through school. A Lost in Space© lunch box in grammar school and a paper bag in high school. I survived. Time to end all school paid for lunches.

        • Angry White Woman

          A school age child can safely carry a lunchbox with a thermos of hot soup or the like, and not break it, and not forget it after school more than once or twice, either! I did, and it appears at least one other person here did the same. (Tips hat to IstvanIN) Plus it’s a pretty sure bet that the food we brought from home was certainly as nutritionally sound, if not better, than the steam-table junk my kids ate, and tastier, too.

          • Greg Thomas

            Asking, or even suggesting an illegal invading mexican might be responsible for feeding themselves has been declared “racist” here in California. The invasion moves along.

          • Greg Thomas

            Mexicans are not expected to feed their spawn. The tax payer is.

        • freddy_hills

          The only lunchbox I ever got was a sister’s old Minnie Mouse one in kindergarten. Around 4th grade it was really scratched up, so I spray painted it black. Everyone thought that was really cool. But I did it because that’s all I had.

    • Greg Thomas

      Asking an illegal invading mexican or anchor baby to bring their own lunch has been declared a hate crime here in California.

    • MBlanc46

      I’ll stick up for school cafeterias. Being able to get something hot and varied was great. It wasn’t free, though. We paid for it. And if the cash didn’t cover it 100% (I don’t know whether it did), all the parents worked and paid taxes. It wasn’t welfare. Of course, it was an all-white so-called middle-class town. We white people can provide these sorts of services for ourselves. It’s when the third-world population is involved that it’s a welfare issue.

      • Yep. It wasn’t always good, but it was cheap and it was a hot meal.

      • It started out at about 35 cents when I was in elementary school. In high school, it was $1.25, but the food was already bought by the feds, so only the shipping and processing was paid by the end-user. We had a very nice lunch counter at Fairview in Boulder, and I usually got the soup and salad combination.

  • Even if my daughter was going to attend elementary school, which she won’t; we’re home-schooling, I would be simply appalled if she actually ate any of the swill that passes as “food” in US public schools. From a nutritional standpoint, it’s too full of fat. The canned vegetables are always steamed until they’re literally tasteless (no wonder so many kids grow up hating vegetables!)

    I made us fish soft tacos for breakfast today, using whiting fillet slices I’ve been marinating, lots of veggies including the first home-grown chives of the year, and “herb mix” organic lettuce from Wal Mart. Half a pot of coffee between the missus and me, and milk and orange juice for Ariadne. I’d think having her eat public school barfeteria food would be child abuse after what she’s used to at home.

    Farming out an important job like feeding one’s kids doesn’t make it better.

    • MBlanc46

      Another chives man! We’ve had such a cold spring that out chives are a month behind last year. It looks like next week they’ll be ready to start harvesting.

      • Sure; a “Victory Garden”. I’ve been trying to get blackberries to take. Maybe this year.

        Chives growing knee high already (Colorado Springs at 6100 feet elevation) and onions and garlic already coming up. Pepper and cilantro seeds planted inside. Will also grow lettuce, tomatoes and radishes.

        Just about anything will grow in the Los Angeles area, but the Mexican’ts who are complaining that their kids are starving can’t even keep the lawns around their homes alive.

        • MBlanc46

          It’s sounds as if you’ve got a good sized garden. We had raspberries when I was a kid, and I’ve thought hard about where we might put some, but we just don’t have room. The wife has claimed a good part of the back yard for flowers, and I sure don’t complain when they’re in bloom. She bought most of the tomato plants yesterday. You can get some pretty good tomatoes at farmers’ markets, but some things–English peas, fresh cut herbs–can only come from the garden.

          • It’s mostly in intensively cultivated planter half-barrels I got 15 years ago. The perennials I have allowed to take over the graveled landscape out front: mint and chives. The soil here on Colorado’s front range is [email protected], and the growing season at 6100 feet ASL short, but it is good.

          • MBlanc46

            I did some container gardening when I lived in a city apartment. Even now, we grow all of our herbs in containers except chives. We can sometimes get basil and rosemary through the winter. Clearly, not everyone is going to enjoy gardening, but it ought to be a highly recommended summer school course so that young people learn that food doesn’t come wrapped in plastic from the supermarket.

    • MBlanc46

      As an adult, I’d probably turn up my nose at the cafeteria food, but when I was in jhs and hs I wolfed it down and looked round for more. I think it was at least as nutritious as anything my mother could have packed in a paper bag or lunch box to store in my locker.

      • Same here. I ate every ounce. All the bike riding I did after school (and homework) and I never worried about being an overweight kid. I’m 34, lest anybody try to lecture me that I’m referring to “decades ago”.

  • MAJ

    I admit that I do not know much about the details of this program aside from its stupidity,. However, some people/some companies, somewhere, are getting paid a lot of money to supply food for 200,000 children every day. I suspect these characters, along with the union workers delivering the product and the other union workers dishing out the goodies, have the true vested interest in keeping this portal of irresponsibility alive. FOLLOW THE MONEY. Trust me, if they cut the program, Juan, Paco, and Shaniqua won’t lose a pound.

    • The original article even admits that union officials led the demonstration.

      IMHO, the concept of government workers unionizing is disgusting.

      • Greg Thomas

        Sure they did. The union knows feeding an illegal mexican or anchor baby pays the same and is a whole lot easier than trying to teach these “students.” Even the liberals now admit that educating illegal mexicans is impossible. If they cannot teach them, they will feed them.

    • Homo_Occidentalis

      Not that they couldn’t afford to lose a few pounds…

  • Bobby

    Wow!!, progress at last from the Los Angeles School District that is within 10 miles of where I live.Although it has a 49 percent dropout rate, this is definetly progress and another valuable achievement of the far leftist school district of L.A.
    Along with other landmarks in leftist public school education like “don’t smoke and wear a condom”, this latest should be marked with a white stone, to be remembered forever as another great success of the progressives. Away with the skeptics…

    • Greg Thomas

      This is the liberal educators way of admitting they cannot teach diversity. If they cannot teach them, they will feed them. It all pays the same.

  • joegoofinoff

    Here, in the peoples republic of n.j., we serve lunch as well. aren’t we lucky?

  • Erasmus

    One mother, Janet Torrez, said her two sons prefer to eat at school rather than at home but that a previous before-school meal program didn’t work because the children chose to play instead.

    This couldn’t get any more ridiculous. If her kids choose to play instead of getting their free breakfast, tough mierdo. Life if full of hard choices. Little Lupita and José had better learn to make them now. If they want to play, go play, but accept that you’ll be hungry until lunch time.

  • Paleoconn

    Why stop at breakfast? Heck, why stop at food? I mean what kind of a cruel society are we that we can’t ensure that every little tyke has a nice pair of Nikes and Baby Gap clothes? And isn’t there a God-given right for all of them to have a bicycle? For God’s sake, what kind of monsters must we be to not have thought of this before?!

    • Why stop at bicycles? Give each of the Third World brats a pony.

      • Paleoconn

        You see, I’m so cold-hearted! Thanks for the correction.

      • Greg Thomas

        Don’t give these baffons any ideas, they still need something to do after the meal period is over. They certainly cannot educate illegal invading mexicans and anchor babies.

    • me

      They do! They do! All of the Santa Clauses in DC are making sure that they all get an Obama phone, free computers, vouchers for clothes, free rent, free food on an EBT card, free electricity vouchers, free daycare, free bus passes, free Obama care, free college courtesy of the Dream Act, free citizenship and etc.–all on our dime! Only for non-Whites, though…..

  • Mariner33

    America is not a banana republic. No bananas and no republic. Time to divide the country.

  • Greg Thomas

    This has nothing to do with feeding hungry mexicans, as there is no such thing here in California. Even the liberal educator of the LAUSD understands how hopeless it is trying to educate illegal invading mexicans and anchor babies. So much so, they have resorted to spending class time feeding mexicans, rather than trying to educate them.

    Nevertheless, why should unionized teachers care, the pay is still the same, while reducing actually time spent on “educating” illegal invaders from mexico. Mexicans get fatter and
    teachers still get paid. The new motto is, if you cannot teach them, feed them.

    • Bobby

      “The pay is still the same.”
      I love it man. You get right to the salient point. It cuts right through the lefts B.S.

  • MBlanc46

    It doesn’t matter what Ms. Torrez’s children prefer. It’s her job to feed them before they go to school. The classroom is for teaching.

  • jay11

    Can’t the playground aides in the morning force the kids to go to the cafeteria?

    • Unperson

      Seriously. Who’s in charge here? Why are adults letting children set the agenda? Drag the grubby little urchins off the playground and sit them down in the cafeteria, if that’s where they’re supposed to be at that time.

      The lesson they are teaching the kids here is the exact opposite of the game “Musical Chairs.” That game has always taught young people an important lesson: You snooze, you lose. The LA skool system, on the other hand, is instead instilling the idea that you don’t ever have to worry about feeding yourself, or ever going hungry, because if you miss the free breakfast period before class, the food-service gringos will just wait patiently for you until you’re done playing and feed you during class time. In other words, “You snooze, you WIN!” What kind of preparation for adulthood and the real world is that?

      Also, did anyone else notice that this issue is getting traction only because the TEACHERS (and their formidable Teachers Union) complained about it — and not because TAXPAYERS complained about it. I’ve no doubt this is a frustrating situation for SoCal teachers, but to me it’s more frustrating that decent white working people — many with no children at all — are taxed to pay for Juan and Maria’s breakfast-burritos so that their mamacita can sleep in or watch Univision. Parents who can’t/won’t feed their own offspring need to be punished, not rewarded.

      • Lord of the Flies used to be a dystopian screed. Now it’s an owner’s manual.

      • Anonymouse

        You’re right. All of this irresponsible behavior should be PENALIZED (punished) and not SUBSIDIZED (rewarded)!

        It appears Obama and his ilk are trying to crash the system as fast as possible, and he’s doing “all the right things.”

        Can we impeach him yet?

  • Sweet Jesus. Now they can’t even make sure their kids eat something before school. Get Jose/Fartavious/Rosa out of bed 15 minutes earlier and give them a bowl of cereal. Or a Pop Tart. Or even Carnation instant breakfast. If you need the school system to Ensure (pun intended) your crotch spawn eat breakfast, you are a failure as a parent and a human being. Then again, given the demographics we are talking about, I should not be surprised.

  • Charles_Peterson

    Make sure to mark your thank the school union holiday?

  • me

    As long as someone else is paying for it (White taxpayers), why not? Gimme, gimme, gimmie….

  • Nick Gherz

    Will the freebies never end?

    • evilsandmich

      Yes, but not soon enough.

  • blarg

    hundreds of thousands rally for free food and not having to feed their chilluns. I’m sure they couldn’t care less if it hurt their kids “education”.

  • WR_the_realist

    I notice that the sole concern of the union is to have more union jobs. Apparently nobody was representing the tax payers. No surprise here, this is Mexifornia.

  • rebelcelt

    One mother, Janet Torrez, said her two sons prefer to eat at school rather than at home but that a previous before-school meal program didn’t work because the children chose to play instead.

    they do not seem to be very hungry

  • Guest

    Can’t these “parents” use their FOOD STAMPS to feed their own kids breakfast/lunch and dinner at HOME? Why are we even giving these people food stamps in the first place and then to top it off we feed their kids at school! Nothing but parasites, all of them.

  • andyvanm

    Of the 200,000 receiving free breakfast how many are on welfare and or food stamps programs ? If so their benefits should be reduced ! Where do they get the free Breakfast ,lunch and dinners when schools close for breaks and the summer ?

  • StillModerated

    The schools are so dreary they should provide the compulsory attendees with free joints.