Lunch manager on leave after diabetic student was served pizza from the trash


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  • lynn Roosevelt, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    Amen to all who have commented using a measure of common sense, a quality our society is rapidly losing sight of. Those who don't possess it are enabling ridiculous, over bearing rules, regulations, and laws on all of us.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    Aug. 26, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    I'm still confused over the need to point out the student was diabetic. Is diabetes a disability rendering the student unable to resist insisting on pizza from the trash even after being informed of it's location? Let's see, a low paid cafeteria aide instead denies the pizza to the diabetic student and is then faced with an article that reads, "Diabetic Student denied pizza at school cafeteria." Please.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 9:01 a.m.


    I totally disagree. As Americans, we waste so much it is criminal - and I'm not even talking about the "starving kids in Africa". School waste is government waste-we are taxed for all those "leftovers". I want my tax dollars to be used more efficiently, thank you. We all work hard for our money and I hate that so much of it goes down the drain - a decision that is taken away from us once it leaves my control.

    Keeping leftover anything in school (faculty room even) refrigerators until the next morning's cafeteria prep - for situations just like this - would give Principals the freedom to meet the needs of the kids and adults they serve. Nothing molds if the policy is that nothing is kept more than 24 hours. Recently a Cracker Barrel employee gave yesterday's muffins to a homeless guy and lost his job over it. Crazy. How many homeless could we feed from leftover school cafeteria food? In my High School an old woman came regularly to pick through the outside trash after lunch. No one objected. Less waste and she lived another day on some over-privileged kid's uneaten sandwiches.

  • Xbalanque DC, VA
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:44 p.m.

    Thank goodness for our first world problems.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Aug. 22, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    "This isn't the first story like this I've seen in the News in recent months. It seems Utah school districts are having a hard time finding good, responsible people to staff school cafeterias.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    Why throw out the pizza?

    Because lunch rooms aren't equipped to handle leftovers. Are we willing to double the storage space, including walk in refrigerators and freezers? double kitchen staff or hours in order to somehow manage left overs? Managing left overs is time intensive. Someone has to serve it. Someone has to decide who is "deserving" of it -- the poor kids? the athletes? the staff? Or, should we just plan enough food to have left overs for every body? Plus, left overs have to be monitored. How long before the pizza goes bad? Not only must it now be stored, it must be thrown out at some point. Old moldy left overs are one thing in your home fridge and something else sitting next to today's food in a school's fridge.

    As a society, we hate paying living wages to service workers. Think of the cost of doubling the kitchen costs at every school in Utah -- and for what? Leftovers?

    America throws out 40% of the food we purchase. Why? because it's easier and therefore cheeper.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    Maybe the Mother would have prefered that her daughter suffer the consequences if having a diabetes episode?

    The Lu ch worker did the right thing. She should receive a metal fir saving that student.

    Maybe it's time to sue the parents for not providing "fail safe" lunch.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Aug. 22, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    I am with most of you about throwing away pizza in the first place. Seems totally wrong. That never happens in my house. And I am not totally convinced that the location of the pizza constitutes in the trash anyway.

    Having said that, I can see why parents might want to complain about the "eating out of the trash" that their child was bragging about. The fact is that insulin is not food specific and the lunch room must have had other options than eating pizza. The child's insistence that she get pizza and only pizza is the culprit here. Even orange or apple juice together with a slice of bread would be sufficient to prevent an incident from having taken the insulin. She took the insulin so she could have pizza but that doesn't mean that only pizza works for the sugars needed.

  • Dante Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    If the child's condition is so precarious that attending to her cuisine needs can force a lunch manager out of her job, the child's parents should be responsible to provide all her meals.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    @ Eliyahu

    "The only question is why a perfectly-good unopened and uneaten pizza is being thrown away?"

    I totally agree. The biggest kids in the school / the after school extra-curricular athletes who complain that school lunch portion sizes are too small should for sure get a crack at that left over pizza. Even 6th grader's in elementary school would appreciate another slice once everyone else has been fed. Not to mention the low income skinny kid who know's he's going home to an empty fridge and cupboard for the weekend. Another example of government waste, or lack of common sense. There's always someone willing to eat cold pizza - even school lunch whole wheat cardboard crust pizza. And don't go all "federal mandate school lunch caloric intake" on me. Some kids just plain need more calories to feed their muscle mass - bone dense - high metabolism bodies. No two kids need exactly the same thing.

  • Anchovey Provo, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    To the "outraged" parent: where is your responsibility in all of this? Why didn't you send your child to school with something to nosh on because the child is diabetic? I applaud the quick-thinking lunchroom worker who "saved" the child. Maybe, rather than demonize the lunchroom worker a humble "thank you" would be in order... And we wonder why in some sectors of this beautiful country people are slow to help...It seems the Good Samaritans are often the ones who are criticized, sued, etc.

  • Buzzards LEHI, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    Two things seem reasonably clear:
    -The lunch aide made what in retrospect was the best decision available. Props to her.
    -The lunch aide is going to lose her job over this. It's the quick and dirty solution for the school and satisfies the "outraged" parent.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    As was made clear in other letters and in the story, no harm was done. The only questions I have are why a perfectly-good unopened and uneaten pizza is being thrown away, and why is it necessary to put someone on leave over it? Call her into the office and say, "don't do that again", and leave it at that.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    Everybody should take a chill pill. And no, we are not entering the Dark Ages. Overreact much?

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    I've tasted the "Michelle Obama" cardboard pizza. The trash really is the best place for it! LOL

    BUT, I'm glad the girl was able to keep her insulin leveled. Anyone live by the "5 second rule" at home? Sheese - I'd wager the inside of the pizza box on the top of the garbage can is probably lots less germy than many of our floors at home.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    This isn't a news story it's a Seinfeld episode.

  • wasatchpowder Sandy, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    There is no worse feeling than having low blood sugar. Your body starts to tremble and then you start thinking unclearly. I wouldn't have any problem grabbing a piece of pizza from a box in the trash to prevent a low.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    School lunches are socialism at work. Right?

    But care to guess which Secretary of Agriculture told the President that "no child should be hungry in a nation as wealthy as America"?

    None other than that famous socialist, Ezra Taft Benson.

    And JCS, you didn't tell us what Lincoln would have said about this situation.

  • Million Bluffdale, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    This is a ridiculous story - the lunch manager pulled off a McGuyver save to help this girl and look what foolishness comes of it. This is as crazy as those complainers who say we should not have Daylight Savings Time because it is too much of an inconvenience. We live in the best of times, don't let anyone tell you any different. We certainly don't have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the outhouse to relieve ourselves and we have clean running water and electricity for lights and cooking and heating. Are we going to hear complaints there was a worm in some poor child's apple in the next story?

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 6:56 a.m.

    The food manager was not the only one involved as the aide must have been there also, as she was reassigned. The pizza box had only been there minutes if not seconds when this occurred . The medical decision had to be made based on the diet and insulin and what was available. The student has some responsibility in this process as the student was late to lunch.

    Litigious societies are fed not by low paid staff members but by the media or even social networking ambulance chasers. News or yellow press?

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 6:51 a.m.

    How time sensitive was it that she eat the pizza? Could the principal have run to the pizza place and got another pizza quick? I'm not very well educated on diabetes - but according to previous posts, it's pretty crucial she get the right thing post insulin.

  • Chris from Rose Park Hartford, CT
    Aug. 22, 2014 6:25 a.m.

    Ditto to what's been said by sisucas, Riverton Cougar, and others.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Aug. 22, 2014 6:05 a.m.

    First, if there was pizza left over, someone should have eaten it, rather than tossing it in the trash. What a waste. Not hungry now? Save it for later.

    Second, a few years ago, I found a pizza box in the trash of a college classroom. Just on a hunch, I opened it and found over half a pizza inside. I figured, since they empty the trash cans daily, it must be from the previous night, probably a student party. I ate the pizza. No harm done.

  • CP Tooele, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 4:44 a.m.

    After reading this article, I really believe the lunch manager did have the best interest in that student in mind, and the student and the mother really blew it out of porportion. The pizza was still in the box untouched and just sitting on top of the garbage can, not inside as the title of this article would have everyone thinking, still edible in my opinion. I have to side with the lunch manager for caring for the student and seeing the big picture of what could have happened. Also maybe this student needs to eat more healthy if she's diabetic so this won't happen again or even better her mother should pack her a lunch from home instead of causing a big fuss for someone trying to help her daughter.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 11:09 p.m.

    "Lunch manager on leave"

    I surely hope they are getting paid! I'm more outraged that the school is giving into their fear of the hypersensitive public instead of having common sense.

    Socialist debates aside, school-provided food is a non-obligatory service in any system. That means that no one did anything wrong except an under-prepared parent (which anyone can be guilty of). Instead of focusing on guilt, let's focus on how to avoid things like this reasonably and fairly.

    Reinstate the lunch manager. Give her a medal for caring more about the kid AND being honest about what was being served. In the future, she can call mom and say "you have two options... a box that touched a garbage can or you can come bring your kid a meal because you didn't pack one". That sounds harsh, but I'm not saying it to judge the mom. I'm just saying it's an option we shouldn't discount.

    Perspective people, perspective! :)

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:08 p.m.

    It's funny that if the pizza box were sitting two feet away from the garbage can instead this would not be a story.

    The headline makes it seem like a worker went dumpster diving to give a student pizza. However, reading the story we find that the girl begged and begged for it (as sisucas pointed out, she had good reason) until the worker gave a pizza that was still unscathed.

    However, I'm sure some policy was broken. Spirit of the law, letter of the law. I think the letter of the law will rule out on this one, unfortunately. That's the world we live in.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:49 p.m.


    Please relax. I'm sure the sun will come up tomorrow. Have a nice day...

  • Mom With A Mission Lehi, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 6:19 p.m.

    After reading the story I have to disagree with John Charity Spring. I think the person who fed her the pizza (albeit from a pizza box left on top of a can) was thinking logically. The student is diabetic and, anticipating her lunch meal of a pizza slice, already gave herself insulin. The potential for the student's blood sugar to drop to a seriously low level was there. If I was in the same position I might use some discretion to get the student some food. I don't know how panicky this student was, and if she demanded a pizza slice, and I knew it was left-over pizza in a pizza box (on top of the garbage, I wouldn't sit around worrying if I had violated some policy. I'd give the girl some pizza. It doesn't say the person pulled a pizza slice out of the garbage can and it doesn't say it came off some kids thrown away plate. Don't know if this is news worthy. I do agree Western Civilization is crumbling though-but for different reasons.

  • sisucas San Bernardino, CA
    Aug. 21, 2014 6:16 p.m.

    This is not a story. This little girl got a dose of insulin calculated for pizza, a food that is very high in simple carbohydrates. Once she had taken the insulin there were two choices, feed the girl a very high carb food, or let her insulin bottom out her blood sugar, which is far more dangerous. The pizza was not exposed to anything; it was still in the box! This lunch server did the right thing in my opinion. She faced a big challenge and made a hard decision which was the right decision. Our society needs to chill out. Why does everybody have to be outraged all the time?

  • Vandelay007 Midway, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 6:14 p.m.

    The school gives the pizza and gets sued. The school doesn't give the pizza and gets sued. No matter the action taken, the result would end up the same.

    Has society fallen so low that we can't eat pizza (fully contained in the box, on the very top of the pile, and unscathed) out of the garbage can? Day old pizza must also be an abomination!

    The same people complaining would support donating day-old/newly expired canned food, bread, etc to the homeless.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 5:20 p.m.

    Has society fallen so low that feeding children garbage no longer even causes school officials to pause? Apparently so.

    No serious person can deny that Western Civilization has truly reached its lowest point in several millennia. In a time when the ignorant masses consider high culture to be sitting around in sweatpants watching hot dog eating contests to be high culture, there is great reason for concern. Essentially, the great croc-wearing hordes are dragging society into depravity. Our society is rapidly approaching a new Dark Age. This process will soon reach the stage of being irreversible unless we act fast to protect what little refinement still exists in society.

    We must stop this slide into mediocrity by insisting that school officials have common sense. This was apparently lacking here in this garbage incident.