SALEM – School board members have formed a committee to take a close look at the breakfast and lunch menus for SAD 58. Members will work with cafeteria head Dora Boyd to see if there are healthier options that could be served.

The subject was brought up when one board member said that a parent had complained to her about breakfast options offered to the children, including sweet buns and donuts.

Dan Worcester, director of transportation, whom also oversees cafeterias, said pastries are not offered every day but as a treat maybe once a week. He said that the menu must meet standards for sugar, calories and more.

“I think it’s a big enough issue that we need to look at it,” board member Dr. Ann Schwink of Strong said.

Worcester said he is unsure that all students would eat the healthier options if they were made available, resulting in wasted food.

“I find it hard to believe that if we offer only healthy choices without (unhealthy) choices in front of them, that they won’t eat,” board member Alan Morse of Phillips said.

Board Chairman Mike Pond said the bigger problem is what is offered after school at ball games and other events through concessions.

“Some of the stuff they sell is not healthy at all,” he said.

The high school has integrated healthier food options in its cafeteria, but the lunch program is losing money because of the higher costs. The school district does not subsidize the breakfast/lunch program, but Superintendent Quenten Clark said the board could vote to subsidize the program in the district’s future budgets.

In other business discussed at Thursday’s school board meeting, Worcester suggested new bus routes for Phillips that would eliminate the need for a half-time bus driver and mileage on a bus. The board voted to approve three routes instead of the usual four.

“Some kids will have to go earlier but not earlier than the earliest kids now,” he said, adding that few will be affected by any changes.

In all, he said, the change will save the district more than $18,000 a year. The bus driver position that will be eliminated was filled by someone who has now retired, so no one will lose their job because of the change.

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