an RN mayor removes replacement menus from canteens to save money

For financial reasons, the RN mayor of Morières-lès-Avignon in Vaucluse decided to abolish replacement meals in his town.

Since Tuesday, there have been no more replacement meals in the canteen for the 600 children who go to school in Morières-lès-Avignon in Vaucluse. This is the decision made by Grégoire Souque, RN’s mayor of the city. Only allergic children will still be able to bring their own food on presentation of a doctor’s note, notes our colleagues from France Bleu. Parents were informed in mid-November about this measure, which was implemented this week.

“It’s a question of savings. We were faced with a significant increase in raw materials, we had to make choices”, defends the city council member at the microphone on BFMTV. “Either we raised prices or we saved money,” he says.

The opposition condemns a “unilateral decision”

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

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

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

“It’s a storm in a glass of water”

“We don’t know whether the pork will be put on the plate or not. Moreover, at no time does he talk about the pork. At a time when you want to make these kinds of authoritarian decisions, 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 glass of water! It concerns only a few people”, replies the city council member at the microphone on BFMTV.

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

Precedent in 2015

This is not the first time that replacement menus have been controversial. In 2015, the municipal council in Chalon-sur-Saône had voted to end the menu without pork in the municipality’s school canteens.

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

Ariel Guez with Alexis Pluyette

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