Disgusting Lunch At Brennen School For Children With Autism Has Parents Fuming

This is just foul!  The Brennen School in the Christina School District is serving kids lunch that I wouldn’t feed to my dog!  A parent sent me a picture of their child’s lunch at the school that serves children with Autism as part of the Delaware Autism Program.  I know Christina is having money woes but come on people!!!!

Brennen Hot Dog

Aside from this shriveled up hot dog, students were served a clementine along with it that day.  Sources tell me teachers are bringing in food for the kids the food is so atrocious.  Hey Christina, just because students have disabilities doesn’t mean you have to serve them sub-standard food.  I have to wonder what year this hot dog was cooked…

Published by

Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

9 thoughts on “Disgusting Lunch At Brennen School For Children With Autism Has Parents Fuming”

  1. Maybe the mom can pack a lunch? Peanut butter is not expensive and is a good source of protein. We have been unable to afford school lunches in my family, so I pack lunches every day.


  2. This is a basic rights issue on the surface. Do children who visit the free summer lunch program receive the same quality meals? But, there another deeper issue. USDA reimburses every lunch served as long as the student receives the appropriated allotment – 3 of the 5 food groups – for each meal. AND the district makes available a weekly allotment of all 5 meal components. The meal above meets the requirements – grain, protein, and fruit, although i do have a hard time seeing how that clementine constitutes a 1/2 cup of fruit per meal daily. Compound this withnow learning gfood can be reheated Twicebefore it’s considered a loss and is tossed. Having designed, developed, operated and directed an institutional USDA compliant program, I can’ tell you this reheat is serious overkill. If I remember correctly BrennAn uis a serving kitchen – where we reheat food cooked off-site and delivered cooked and reheat x 1. Thus that pathetic hotdog can only be heated again. But, it takes a negligent worker to what obviously is sub USDA standard food. Gotta wonder what the veggie was? If here was one. And are books being cooked to pass annual and triennial audits. And frankly all parents should care about this decrepit piece of meat bc for every meal served – EVERY, including full cost meals, the schools get around 30 cents per qualifying meal From the dear ole USDA. And who funds them? The feds with tax payers money. That’s the side pot no one outside the system knows about. Providers will say these funds are necessary to break even. I’m telling you seriously if this what break even provides, someone has their hands on the hotdog buns. I could break even by February each year in a school where more than 1/2 my students we’re free or reduced and I provided high quality meals without entrenching my program in debt. Hey, Christina, it’s a shame you swore in ghost this week who quickly resigned because the man the ghost replaced, John Young, would have taken this issue seriously. He would gave demanded an accountability across all schools and urged this district to build in a quality control policy and process. But, no. A our deeply uneducated voters don’t which board members have peeked and which ones care. George Evans. Hey, maybe the blustering burbs can find a ghost from the city to run against him. BTW – GE won’t care about these meals. He packs his lunch.


  3. This is disgusting and appalling. If this was the lunch the cafeteria in the offices of the district bigwigs I promise you the entire kitchen would be fired. But it is acceptable to serve our children, nonverbal disabled children that can not speak out for themselves. This is what we are letting them eat each day. And to say why don’t you pack a lunch? Maybe it is not within the budget. You don’t know so it’s proper to refrain from commenting if the parents don’t like it then they should pack. I’m sorry, I guess that person is okay with children being served this quality of food. I’m appalled and disgusted and my kids don’t go there. But my son is on the spectrum and if he was ever served this food that school would be turned upside down. They need to take care of this immediately. If they are being reimbursed money for food like the gentleman said then it is a matter of misappropriated funds. They are basically taking the money and reporting that they are providing nutritious lunches. Lies. All lies. I think an investigation needs to be initiated into the food services at Brennan school and all the funding over the years that has gone into food reimbursement from the USDA. Also this school get federal money, grants and such. Seems to me like someone is pocketing a whole boatload of money and scamming the system. Just in my opinion.


    1. Let’s clarify some things. The Delaware autism program is a vocational education program. It was legislatively placed as a program and not a school, inside the management of the Christina school district. The Christina school Is the bill assessor and collector, however this money goes into funding and spending and funding streams that are entirely dedicated to the DAP. The state of Delaware sends those tuition bills to the sending districts. Sometimes Those bills are paid promptly. Some districts don’t like to play ball and will fight or contest their bill. When this happens the Christina school district lends the necessary operational funds to the DAP The district does eventually get reimbursed. Christina CFO Bob Silber Will find you and shake you down. So here we go: the tuition bill should cover all expenses for each child served according to their needs a.k.a. needs based funding. In
      Turn, Christina hires and fires almost every position. This is a consolidation a back office duties, remember one is a program the other is an independent school or a district. It would be a waste of money for DAP to operate its own HR. Christina also sends out the RFPs that eventually ended up in contracts with transportation providers and OT, PT, speech ETC when not enough of the specialists can be found and hired. Christina essentially serves as their management company. And the original legislators wanted it that way to help protect it from ever being stripped away. Now nutrition funding is a different beast. Menu planning is a science. Staff are all employed by the Christina school district, like teachers and administrators in the program. Their cost and the cost of food should be part of the tuition bill sent to the Sending district. But it was legislated out of the tuition formula. However that’s not always how it works. Unless your district allocates a line item amount of funding for school nutrition in its early years, school nutrition actually needs to take a loan from the school. under the guidance of DOE and USDA set prices are set for paid and reduced lunches. About five years ago Charter Schools found themselves in this predicament: free reduced school meal programs were being legislated forcing charters to adopt some type of meal program. Most went with outside vendors who cooked offsite delivered warm and the food sat in the warmer until lunchtime. It’s expensive and the food quality decreases the longer it spends in the warmer. Others adopted where they provided their own meals. However, Charter‘s had been reallocating State provided nutrition funds for decades and when it came time to create and operate a program, a lot of charters did not have a cushion to pre-pay the cost of its program. Cafeteria expenses are not factored in the tuition bill sent to districts. But there are some state funds that flow directly to Charter‘s for cafeteria support This is where USDA funding comes in. School lays out the money for food staff cooks it or goes in a warmer, gets served, and at the end of every month the school or district submits through the Delaware Department of education for its USDA reimbursement based on the meals sold that prior month. Between students who are paying full price, usually a lot more if they are in the charters, and the USDA reimbursement, cafeterias eventually become self sustainable. There’s also a rule that says cafeteria funds can only be used on cafeteria related items if you participate in the USDA free or reduced lunch program So when your school asks the cafeteria to provide extra snacks on testing day, the cafeteria is supposed to charge full cost plus the cost of the time of the employee who puts the order together sends it on and receives the snacks and distributes it. So in the case of DAP – Unless major modifications have been made in the last few years, DAP has a serving kitchen, but not a cooking kitchen. It’s meals are provided by Christina school district cooking kitchen. The meals are then delivered to the school and the staff keeps them warm or cold and sells them to our children. There are other variations of how this works, some districts have elected the community option where all students get free lunch and the district gets a set amount of money from USDA monthly. Some schools pay an offsite kitchen like revolution foods who ships Delaware’s food from just outside Of Washington DC. There’s a Nuance and a science to make sure the food is USDA compliant and a knack needed for handling financials and being able to predict based on your past trends how much money you need to make and save to eventually become self-sustaining. The thresholds just differ at each school depending on each his own circumstances. And there you have it Delaware school nutrition 101. The real kicker, all of the food products purchased to create these lunches for our children are sold to us from our statewide vendor which currently is US foods. Furthermore the districts have bonded together and renegotiated the state contract so that they pay even less than other agencies in the state for those same food staples. And this is why they say grains are for brains


  4. Kevin, you know the State of Delaware runs and funds the Delaware Autism Program, right? Not Christina? It’s physically located in the District but the services are provided by the State. Maybe check your bias against Christina before posting.


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