To the editor:
I was recently contacted by a Muslim friend who was concerned about my views on halal lunches in our schools after reading an article in your paper. Apparently, she thought I was in favor of ending the halal lunch program in our schools due to the cost involved. I must be clear, that is absolutely not the case. I then read the article on the school board forum between Jim Schoolmaster and myself. The article did not state that I was apposed to halal lunches in school, but I would like the opportunity to clear up any confusion regarding this issue.
I believe that all of our children should be offered a nutritious hot lunch that they will actually eat and enjoy. Many Dearborn schools with high Muslim populations already have halal lunch programs in place, as it should be. My concern is extending the programs to schools with low Muslim populations because the cost is three times more. The children in these schools should have options that suit their needs such as vegetarian offerings. However, adding halal menus to all of our schools when the district is struggling with class sizes, out of date text books and infrastructure problems, I believe would not be the best use of our tax payer dollars. I suggested that the issue be looked at more closely, meaning that perhaps halal food may be obtained less expensively or if it would be feasible to expand the program to all schools which might reduce the cost significantly because of bulk rates.
I feel that it is important to review the suppliers that we are contracted with to insure that we are getting what we need for the lowest possible price.
Dearborn School Board Candidate