Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A Success Story in Local Government, As Seen on Fox 25

[EDITORS' UPDATE: Apparently we stand corrected on this story. At the time of writing, Ms. Mont-Ferguson appeared to us to be highly-capable. However, she has since been reassigned from her position over concerns about food quality. The hunt for model public servants continues....]

With all of the back-and-forth about public employees and unions lately, every once in awhile you still can find a success story in government service. Helen Mont-Ferguson appears to be just such a story.

Mont-Ferguson, Director of Food and Nutrition Services for the Boston Public Schools, was interviewed on the WFXT Fox-25 morning news program this morning about Boston's school lunch program. Her interview was simple, but inspiring.

What we saw was a public servant who's working hard to make a difference for young people in the City of Boston. She and her staff are trying to make school meals healthier and more functional for kids to eat. She's even making lunch cooler for kids by making it look like what they'd get from a fast food store. And, she is also working around new government mandates for food quality while seeking federal money to help out. It's a nationally-recognized program because of its success and innovation, all in a district where 76% of kids get free or reduced lunch - according to Mont-Ferguson, that works out to 45,000 public school children who live in poverty.

Here's the video from WFXT:

New school menus: More fruits & veggies:

Serving healthy meals to students in Boston's schools might be a narrow function of local government, but it's an important one. And, if done successfully - as appears to be the case here - it's a job that can have a profoundly positive influence on the lives of young people.

Isn't this what government is supposed to be all about?

There's a lot of money and benefits being spent on government workers, and not all of it is appropriate. There are also lots of media stories of public officials who abuse the system and don't do their jobs. But, from what we see here, people like Helen Mont-Ferguson appear to be worth every penny. The thousands of kids who benefit from these programs are lucky that it's someone like Mont-Ferguson - and not one of those people who give public servants a bad name - who is responsible for making the decisions that fuel their bodies for success every day.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, a great story. A real "star" amongst the clouds of government. There certainly are great stories like this all around that usually never get told. And she would be one who should be singled out for excellent pay for performance. But bet she is part of a union that would NEVER go along with singling any one person. Thanks for bring a positive story to the front.


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