an RN mayor removes substitution menus from canteens to save money

PHOTO D’ILLUSTRATION – Mychele Daniau, AFP/Archives

Putting forward economic reasons, the RN mayor of Morières-lès-Avignon, in Vaucluse, decided to abolish substitute meals in his town.

Since Tuesday, no more substitution meals in the canteen for the 600 children attending school in Morières-lès-Avignon, in the Vaucluse. It is the decision of Grégoire Souque, RN mayor of the town. Only allergic children will be able, on presentation of a medical certificate, to continue to bring their own food, note our colleagues from France Bleu. Parents were informed in mid-November of this measure, implemented this week.

“It’s a question of savings. We were faced with a considerable increase in raw materials, we had to make choices”, defends the city councilor at the microphone of BFMTV. “Either we increased the pricing, or we saved money,” he says.

The opposition denounces a “unilateral decision”

But the municipal opposition, and several parents of students, do not believe in this “economic” argument. Especially since only 3,208 replacement meals have been distributed this year, according to the mayor.

“This decision is a unilateral decision”, also denounces Annick Dubois, elected opposition PS.

“There is a certain population that the mayor no longer wants in his town,” she said at the microphone of BFMTV, believing that this measure will first target the population of Muslim faith. “For me, this is discrimination against Muslims.”

“It’s a storm in a glass of water”

“We don’t know if the pork will be put on the plate or not. Besides, at no time does he talk about the pork. At some point, when you want to make this kind of authoritarian decision, you have to assume and say things”, also points to France Bleu the co-president of the Federation of parents of pupils (FCPE) of the schools of Morières, Anne Vitard.

“It’s a storm in a teacup! It only concerns a few people”, answers the city councilor at the microphone of BFMTV.

“Pork, there has been it all the time and there will be it all the time: there is it every week and [les menus] are known three weeks in advance”, says Grégoire Souque. “Either we pick up the child and he eats at home, or we do not serve him meat”, he concludes.

A precedent in 2015

This is not the first time that substitution menus have been controversial. In 2015, the municipal council of Chalon-sur-Saône had voted the end of the menu without pork in the school canteens of the commune.

Seized, the Council of State had judged in 2020 that it “is neither compulsory nor prohibited for local authorities to offer students differentiated meals allowing them not to consume foods prohibited by their religious beliefs.”

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