A Return to the Sandwich Quo: Opposition to New Food Results in Restoration of Normal Sandwiches

A+Return+to+the+Sandwich+Quo%3A+Opposition+to+New+Food+Results+in+Restoration+of+Normal+Sandwiches

New federal regulations were at the root of the more meager sandwiches served during the first four days of school. However, after complaints from students and parents, the sandwiches have returned to normal. | Photo courtesy of Westport Public Schools website

Chris Ramey, Web Features Editor

Sandwiches in the cafeteria are back to normal after a temporary change following new federal regulations. Although the sandwiches’ bread variety and bulk have been restored, other cafeteria meals still adhere to the federal regulations.

The regulations, which aim to reduce fat and carbohydrates and restrict protein to ten grams per week, brought about unwelcome changes to the sandwich lines. The sandwiches served under the new guidelines consisted of one type of bread with one slice of meat and one slice of cheese.

According to Principal John Dodig, the ensuing reaction from the student body was intense. Dodig received dozens of phone calls, scores of emails, and questions from practically every student he came across in the four days the policy was in effect.

Due to the reaction, Dodig, Superintendent Elliott Landon, Chartwells’ manager Frank Rupp, and other town officials worked together to find a solution that would give the students what they wanted while keeping abreast of the new regulations.

The new nutritional regulations officially apply to meals. Dodig, Rupp, Landon, and the other officials decided that because the sandwiches aren’t classified as meals, the school could make the sandwiches the same way they always had.

In order for lunch ingredients like cheese and deli meats to be subsidized, the sandwiches would have to be in line with the National School Lunch Program. However, due to the response from the student body, the Deli section of the cafeteria is opting out of the federal subsidy. According to Dodig, the town will cover the extra cost of the ingredients.

Dodig was not concerned with the nutritional implications of reinstating the sandwiches. “The state and the federal government come up with policies to fix problems that only affect certain districts,” Dodig said. “Rural and urban districts have a problem with obesity, while Staples does not. So I think that there should be room for districts that don’t have the problem to be unaffected.”

Not only was there room for Staples to be unaffected, but a demand from the student body for the changes to be renounced.

One student, Devon Lowman ’13, decided to take an active approach to the new sandwiches. Rather than just making a phone call, he started a petition against the changed food. He received over 100 signatures in one and a half days.

The movement was also backed by Assistant Principal Patrick Micinillio. “I took the petition to Mr. Micinillio, and he was extremely supportive of the student body,” Lowman said. “[Micinillio] said that if we wanted to ‘storm the castle’ and take this petition as far as we could that he was right behind us”

 

This reporter celebrated the return to normal sandwiches by getting a salami, pepperoni, mozzarella, provolone, Swiss and honey mustard sandwich on Italian bread. It is highly recommended.