They denounce reduction of food rations in a Buenos Aires school

The educational community of Primary School No. 4 DE 8º “Organization of American States” summoned the Buenos Aires Ministry of Education this Friday to respond “urgently” for the reduction of breakfast and lunch rations for more than 400 children.

The Cry of the South – 03/26/2022 – By Ornella Rapallini

The school, which is full-time and is located at Del Barco Centenera 747 in the Parque Chacabuco neighborhood of Buenos Aires, requires the provision of 417 breakfast rations and 354 dining rations, and the concessionaire company CAO Alimentación sends only 245 breakfast rations and 230 canteens (on average) since the beginning of this school year.

Florencia Guglielmotti, a mother linked to the school since 2006 by her three children and current member of the cooperative, told The Cry of the South: “Things like this have never happened in this school, they are not sending the number of rations that corresponds to the number of children and we have to divide rations, they end up eating three quarters each and the portions are already small and insufficient. It is a shared responsibility, the GCBA has to guarantee and the concessionaire has to provide”.

After numerous complaints, the response they receive is that “since there are 100 children who have not processed the scholarship, they do not send the rations,” Guglielmotti said, adding: “The scholarship would only be for lunch, not for breakfast or snack that is mandatory, there is no incidence of whether the student processes a scholarship or not, if he stays to eat at school at lunch or not, that is for all the boys and girls and the concessionaire that pays the Government of the City He’s not sending them.”

In addition, they denounce that the nutritionist Micaela Díaz (MN 10401) appeared at the institution on March 3 and reported that as of Monday the 14th of that month “breakfast or lunch will not be guaranteed to those who have not started the Food Scholarship ”.

Breakfast consists of a solid part that can be a muffin, a cereal bar, a packet of cookies, or a small shortbread, and another part that is liquid, which can be drinkable yogurt and chocolate milk.

The leadership of the school has been making constant claims since February 23 and the answer is “that they have to evaluate it”, in addition the file EX-2022-08437869-GCABA-ESC201442 was “denied”. From this, the community organized a gathering of signatures and the presentation of the letter to the leadership to “support the director’s request” and that it be submitted to the Ministry of Education, last Friday.

With the current system, regarding lunch there are different possibilities: process a scholarship that can be awarded 100 percent, 50 percent, or it can be rejected; choose to pay; Bring a lunch or pick up the children so they can have lunch at home and then go back to school.

“In this school, all the children were always fed, regardless of whether they had applied for the scholarship or not. Afterwards, it is a problem for the concessionaire to settle with the families if they do not process the scholarships, but you cannot leave a child without eating for 8 hours, because they enter at 8:15 and leave at 4:15″, Guglielmotti pointed out.

As for what they are served in the dining room, the menu is approved by “concession specifications and all concessionaires have the same in all schools”, but it varies in the cooking possibilities of the institution.

“They call you ‘meat milanesa with salad’ and it’s actually a battered hamburger, it’s reconstituted pre-fried meat -described the cooperative member-; it also says ‘meatloaf’ and it turns out it has two little pieces of minced meat and a bunch of lentils: ‘chicken with salad’, they don’t serve chicken, they serve only wings. We also know that the wings are where the hormones that give the chickens to grow are concentrated, which is what children should eat the least.”

In his particular case, Guglielmotti processed the scholarship in December 2021 and confirmation that they received the application came in March, when classes began in February.

Food delivered by the GCBA in other schools

Scholarships must be processed through the City Government website, but there are different obstacles that make management difficult: it is checked, they ask for scanned or photographed documents and “if it takes 10 minutes because you cannot find the document, you have to start all over again ”. Likewise, it is not taken into account that there are families that do not have access to a computer or that, despite having one, do not know how to use it.

To “help” them, the Buenos Aires government proposes to these families that they move to other neighborhoods where there would be facilitators who work in vulnerable areas. The palliative solution that they found from the cooperative is that a mother or father brings a computer of their own free will and helps the families. “But it is the State that should guarantee it,” claimed Guglielmotti.

In the letter, the educational community appeals to the “non-delegable constitutional obligation that the City -through the Ministry of Education in this case- has to ensure and finance public education” and instructs that within 10 (ten) days resolves required, “under penalty of initiating the corresponding legal actions”.

This claim is not isolated and is added to the list of complaints, court rulings, summons that occurred before and during the pandemic.

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