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No Child Left Unfed in St. Mary's County Public Schools

On Monday, Nov. 23, St. Mary’s County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano stopped by Town Creek Elementary School to serve up a delicious Thanksgiving meal to children. The meal consisted of either turkey or ham and mashed potatoes, green beans and hot apple pie.

According to Supervisor of Food and Nutrition Services, Mike Jones, feeding the school children is a monumental task with which SMCPS has to deal each and everyday. “We have 25 schools and the Farleigh Academy that need wholesome, nutritious food,” said Jones who also admitted he enjoys coming out to meet students. “I usually have to deal with the logistics of the tons of food we serve each day and don’t get a chance to meet the children.”

School lunches are now streamlined to the point where children have meal accounts that identifies for the school system whether the child is eligible for reduced price or free food programs. SMCPS has also set up an Internet based system that allows parents to provide a credit card or other form of payment on line, further eliminating the need for paperwork and the necessity of sending children to school with cash.

“Parents can monitor everything as often as they like. They can monitor not only how much their child is eating, but what kinds of food they are eating,” said Jones. A link to the SMCPS Parent Internet Portal is here.

He also emphasized that the children who are eligible for the reduced or free meal programs are never identified as such because of the new system. “They are identified by the student identification and no one knows,” said Jones.

Judging by the enthusiasm of the children as a smiling Martirano passed over their trays of steaming hot turkey meals; the food is pretty good despite the enormous task of ensuring every child is fed each day.

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