Saturday, October 08, 2011

Cafeteria boss leaving Chula Vista schools

Cafeteria boss leaving Chula Vista schools
Ashly McGlone
Oct. 7, 2011

CHULA VISTA — The food service manager at the Chula Vista Elementary School District will leave the district next month.

Dan Slavin, who earns $84,000 annually, joined the district in 2007. Slavin has been on a paid leave of absence in recent weeks and will remain on the payroll until Nov. 4, district officials said.

The departure comes after the district was hit with a $57,300 penalty by the state, reported by The Watchdog in August, for serving meals that did not meal U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition targets, to qualify for reimbursement of free and reduced-price meals.

Among the findings: breakfast meals contained 31 percent fewer calories and 30 percent less vitamin A than they should have had, and lunches contained 17 percent less iron than required.

A state audit on July 28 also found the district had not completed a nutritional analysis for the district’s summer food program. As a result, the district was recently informed it will lose an additional $9,668, spokesman Anthony Millican said.

“This issue arose from our good intention in making our meals healthier for our students,” Millican said. “We removed chocolate chip muffins from the breakfast menu. We reduced caloric intake specifically to address well documented high obesity rates among our youth. Apparently no good deed goes unpunished and in fact, it seems counterintuitive that the state would ask us to add more calories to the menu at a time when juvenile diabetes and obesity are skyrocketing, yet here we are, adding string cheese to the menu so kids will consume more calories.”

The child nutrition services department underwent a restructuring in early July, with food service supervisors no longer reporting to Slavin. Millican said the restructuring had nothing to do with the meal deficiencies and he could not comment on the reasons for Slavin’s departure.

Slavin did not return multiple calls for a comment.

The district, which serves some 27,400 students in Chula Vista, has since switched to a more user-friendly menu planning program as directed by state auditors, district officials said. Some 1.4 million free meals and 406,000 reduced-price meals are served annually in the district, for $5.2 million in combined state and federal funding.

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