They denounce that the Buenos Aires Government delivers food of poor nutritional quality in schools

They first removed the pan of the lunches, arguing that it did not feed; they later vetoed desserts and they replaced them with a fruit, which many times is not enough for all the boys and girls or they arrive directly rotten; at the time they decided to cut the dairy products in infusions; then replaced the minced meat from potato pie for lentils. For years, the Buenos Aires Ministry of Educationhas been presenting each of these food initiatives as programs of healthy food for the students. The truth is that a strong adjustment is hidden in school meals.

The truth is that the boys and girls who attend the schools of the Town ingest sweet ultra-processed foods, in the form of cookies, vanilla, muffins, and cereal bars, a mix full of additives and preservatives. To take the options are mate cocido or tea with milk.

Since 2018, the city ​​government has been eliminating from the daily menu of the public school students various foods, under the pretext of improving the quality of life of all students. The head of the Buenos Aires Government, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta implemented the program “My Healthy School”. On that occasion, the Minister Soledad Acuna expounded on the benefits “from the new school menu ‘bye paneras’ for all the City primary and secondary schools which includes more fruits and vegetablesand less bread and pasta”. Own Goverment’s head, argued at the time that:The feeding plan in schools is part of the learning process”.

In the last few hours, a report made by the NGO Observatory of the Right to the Citywho presides over the lawyer Jonathan Baldiviezo, where the money allocated by the local executive for the students’ breakfast and the money spent on their government officials.

Squeezed orange juice, toasted bran lactal bread, with top-brand spreadable cheese, strawberry or peach jam, a variety of tea flavors, half an apple. “This is how the officials who go to the events and meetings organized by the Secretariat of Cultural Transformation of the GCBA according to Public Tender No. 2051-0407-LPU22”, the document begins. The amount allocated for these events is 6.5 million pesos.

This occurs while “More than 240,000 students start the day with a mate cocido and a cupcake, a vanilla or a third brand cereal bar full of sugar. For officials, healthy breakfasts of $710; for students, $37 breakfasts”, details the report. This is stipulated in Annex A of the general breakfast of the students for the year 2022.

From the Observatorypoint out to Tiempo Argentino that “the city ​​government intends to continue for four more years with this dining service for students and summoned a public tender that is armed so that they win 19 companies who have profited from the health of our sons and daughters for years. Companies that provide a lousy service and that only this year, are going to take 12 billion pesos”.

Lamerich SRL is one of the firms authorized to compete for the multimillion-dollar contract. This is the company that, during the only face-to-face week of the 2020 school year, poisoned more than 100 students from six schools (Primary 14 and Infant JII of DE 7, Normal Superior 4, Primary 5 of DE 2 and primary 20 and 24 of DE 19).

In the last ten years alone, the company in question accumulated a dozen fines for distributing food in poor condition, delivering unhygienic products with an interrupted cold chain, and operating with vehicles devoid of any health care, among other proven irregularities.

Baldiviezo expressed that “More and more products are being removed from food in schools. And what they say is fish is not”. From the Observatory clarify that there is no type of control on the quality of food in City schools. In addition, they ask for universal access and for the elimination of so many procedures for access to a scholarship.

Just to participate in the tender, each company must pay in advance 795,000 pesos. This amount, they clarify from the City government, will not be returned to the purchasers in any case, “Even when for any reason the tender will be annulled or all offers will be rejected.”The bulky value of the specifications and their non-return function, in fact, as a dissuasive for any cooperative or SME that wants to participate in the call and reduces to a handful, the companies suitable to be winners”, points out in the report Observatory of the Right to the City.

“Only 35 percent of the amount corresponds, so to speak, to food. In other words, of the 37.44 pesos, 65 percent is payment for logistics, packaging and other issues. And in the bidding process, as in previous years, it is hidden how much the companies will earn outside the official budget“, Explain Baldiviezo.

In addition, it points out that the companies that obtain the provision of these services usually fail to comply with the conditions established in the specifications. “The rations or meals that arrive at school cafeterias always include fewer grams than those established or, in any case, poor quality food is delivered. Groceries arrive pre-cooked at schools. They are heated and that’s it. Before, everything was cooked in establishments,” ensures Baldiviezo.

Lastly, they emphasize that in the face of this situation, the educative community is being organized forre-discuss and modify the feeding system in the schools of the City” and that is why the “Campaign for quality and free food for all, with the participation of the educational community.” Signatures are being collected at: https://www.change.org/foodschool