A first grade Thanksgiving feast was cancelled Monday by the Lafayette Parish School System Department of Child Nutrition. Parents of students at Charles M. Burke Elementary School in Duson got a voicemail early in the day saying the traditional lunch feast would not be held this year.

We started making calls after a concerned parent brought the sudden cancellation to our attention. School officials in turn directed our calls to Lafayette Parish Schools Child Nutrition Department.

Celeste Hay, Registered Dietitian and LPSS Child Nutrition Program Coordinator, says the feast does not fall within the guidelines of the 2014 Safe Snacks Policy. The policy aims to allow only nutritional snacks on campuses as well as breakfast and lunch selections. Hay says the department is unable to guarantee the safety of foods at the feast because many dishes are prepared at home.

According to Hay, the State of Louisiana goes a step further than the basic Smart Snacks Policy and does not allow for any exceptions. The Child Nutrition Department approves all food fundraisers at Lafayette Parish Schools. In many cases, according to the school system, rules are made to protect students who may have peanut or other allergies.

Rob Kirkpatrick