NYC kids still eating school lunch outdoors despite dropping temps

Despite freezing conditions and irritated parents, children in several metropolitan schools continue to have lunch outside every day due to social distancing guidelines.

“It’s getting a little absurd at this point,” a mother at MS 104 in Manhattan said Wednesday, as her children pulled apart their string cheese once more in the 39-degree weather. “This week, they’ve eaten outside every day.” “It’s chilly.”

A mother at a Park Slope elementary school said her child had been eating al freezo for the entire year and had just recently begun complaining about the conditions.

“No arrangements have been made to bring them inside any time soon,” she stated. “In fact, they’re still asking parents to donate their Fresh Direct bags to the school so that they may make seating mats.” It doesn’t appear like they’ll enter.”

This year, the Department of Education gave principals the freedom to create their own lunch plans while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

While some parents have managed to keep their children within while they eat, others have taken to the wide outdoors.

“Eating outside while sitting on concrete with a mask on is difficult enough for a tiny kid,” said the mother of a Brooklyn fourth-grader who ate outside this week. “How cold does it have to be to go inside?” “How low does it have to go?” says the narrator.

This year, parents said their children were only allowed to eat inside during heavy downpours.

Individual children, the DOE reiterated on Wednesday, have the option to eat indoors if they so desire.

Parents, on the other hand, say they haven’t heard of any such arrangements.

“That’s something we’ve never been taught,” the Park Slope mother remarked. “Neither has anyone else I know.”

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Several parents have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the fact that instructors and officials do not eat outside.

One explained, “The problem is that there is no hard metric for when the kids can go inside.” “It’s entirely up to the principal’s discretion; whatever they decide is final.” We won’t be out here in February, hopefully.”

The DOE stated on Wednesday that it would remind administrators of its policy allowing parents to request that their children dine inside if they so desire.

“Inclement weather, such as rain, extreme high or low temperatures, high winds, and other factors, schools and students always have the choice to take their meals inside,” stated DOE spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon. “Schools can quickly pivot to provide lunch in a number of formats and in numerous places if needed, thanks to our great food service personnel.”

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