CAMARILLO : Schools to Stop PTA Hot Lunch Sales

Pleasant Valley School District officials have reluctantly decided to prevent the Parent Teacher Assn. from selling hot lunches to Camarillo elementary school students. None of the Camarillo school district's 13 schools have functioning cafeterias and PTA members have sponsored weekly sales of hot meals from McDonald's, Arby's and other vendors.

A state inspector recently told school officials that this practice violates state policy against selling food items that compete with the school lunch program. The state warned school officials that if they do not discontinue the weekly sales, they will lose $91,000 in reimbursements for subsidized lunches.

Camarillo's school lunch program consists of buying brown-bag lunches from neighboring school districts. It was also used by the schools to meet federal requirements to serve free or reduced-price lunches to needy students.

PTA officials said the weekly hot-lunch sales raise nearly $100,000 annually. The group has used the money to buy items ranging from school lunch tables to science equipment.

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