Tuesday, August 11, 2015

And in this week's episode of "Which Committee Is This, Anyway?"

...we have not one, but TWO items on this week's Council agenda!

11c. Request City Manager consider the expansion of the JROTC program to include the Army and Marine programs. An expansion would give our children an opportunity to experience the programs provided by each branch of the military. This would also help them with the direction and discipline that the military provides and further our efforts for youth intervention and involvement. (Gaffney) 
JROTC programs are not under the purview of the City Manager; they're public school programs, and thus under the purview of the Superintendent.

And also:
11d. Request City Manager request the Superintendent of Public Schools to consider allowing St. John’s Food Pantry to pick up “excess” food from the Worcester Public Schools that would be disposed of for the purposes of serving the same to the poor and needy rather than throwing it away. Currently, the Worcester Public Schools dispose of “excess” food at a significant cost and waste of resources. We are throwing away food while people struggling to feed themselves and, in many cases, feed their children. Donating the “excess” food would help the St. John’s Food Pantry feed our residents in need. The Bill Emerson Act permits the same without liability and St. John’s Food Pantry has the ability to pick up the food. *“Excess” food is that food prepared or in process that the children do not eat. It is not to be confused with food that has been handled by anyone other than those in food preparation, placed in the trash or otherwise. (Gaffney, Lukes, Rivera)
While this one catches a referral, it's simply incorrect in its assertion: there is not "excess food" being thrown away "at significant cost and waste of resources" in the Worcester Public Schools. We don't have much food leftover after serving kids, bluntly speaking, and what we do, we compost as we are able (this has been an ongoing work during the years I've been paying attention), and there isn't a significant cost involved.

 I always find it's best to check my assertions before filing such items, particularly if one is going to editorialize within them.

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