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“ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY”

Dear Editor

While reading through our local news regarding our school lunch program and the Sodexo contract expiration, and how our DOE or Department of Education will be handling our school lunch program by using their own funds or "in-house" to guarantee well fed children in every school in our island, I really appreciate and admire that decision. Therefore, I'll support them on that remarkable and most outstanding decision.

Why would our government waste that amount of money to purchase or contract Sodexo, when we can use that money to aid and assist our DOE in managing our own School Lunch Program? By using not even a half of that money to contract our local farmers and our people with sources, equipment and supplies, to grow and supply our own food supplies to every schools, every penny spent will not be a waste.

If only our leaders would just coordinate some kind of plan to provide that kind of idea to help out our Department of Education with, it would be a stronghold foundation for every solution of the matter.

Yes, Our island may be a speck on the center of the Pacific Ocean on a map, but we can improvise and use our own resources to build and make our island a more sufficient and increase of career advancement for our people. Not only we'll attract more businesses or trades in the process, but it will benefit our island the incoming flow of wealth and security of every family on our beautiful island. Slow and steady will win the race my friends. In the end, who will take the credit? Our Leaders.

While there is a flow of incoming funds being granted to our island, there's a big outgoing of assets being signed off to all these contractors. Leaving us with huge question marks on our heads. And the minimum wages where our families are striving everyday to put food on the table.

Remember this my friends; Rome wasn't built in one day.

Tala Galo Faasavalu Jr.
San Francisco, CA

(Editor’s Note: Great thoughts, however the ASDOE is not using their “own money” — the School Lunch program is a 100% federally funded program. One of the reasons it was contracted to an off-island company is the ASDOE/ School Lunch Program couldn’t seem to keep it’s hands clean when awarding food supply contracts, as well as other issues that pointed to abusive practices, which at times was just shy of being called “stealing”.

Of further note: The SLP does keep local suppliers or farmers of staples (such as taro and bananas), fruit and vegetables in the loop, with purchases occurring on a weekly basis.

A final point I think that should be made is that whether it is an off-island company, ASDOE ‘in-house’ or an on-island company, the heart of the School Lunch Program is to supply healthy balanced meals to children- students who would otherwise not eat or have access to such meals. When the program is mis-managed or abused, the ultimate victims are the children-students. ra)



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