Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fed up with school lunch

Follow a Chicago teacher as she (he?) goes underground to eat, blog and photograph school lunch each day of 2010:

A few quotes from her (his?) profile:

What exactly is your school lunch project?
I'm eating school lunch just like the kids every day in 2010 to raise awareness about what students eat every day. My hope is that the US becomes more reflective about how the food children eat affects their well-being and success in school. I certainly do not speak for all school lunch programs, but from the comments I have been receiving, what I eat is fairly typical of what most students eat in our country.

What inspired you to do this?
I was disheartened by what I saw the kids eating at school. As I continue with the project and physically consume the lunches myself, I get even more upset.

Is this a publicity stunt?
I have nothing to gain from doing this project personally. I am just a regular person and I'm certainly not sophisticated enough to design some kind of "stunt."

Why are you anonymous? Don't you stand by your ideals?
I am anonymous because I want to protect my job and my identity. I like that I'm "un-googleable." Although I feel passionate about child nutrition, I believe that being anonymous is the best thing for my professional career. I really want to reveal more, but it's not safe for me personally.

Why is this important now?
The Child Nutrition Act is being debated in congress. It's important that people realize that funding for school lunches is vital to children's success in school and in life.

What's up with all the packaging?
The meals brought in frozen and heated up in large ovens. The containers are paper with plastic over the top. Microwaving is not allowed forschool lunch (from what I understand). There are no real dishes or cutlery. Ninety-five percent of food delivered to schools is frozen.

Where is the food made? Are there microwaves at the school?
I don't know where the food is made. I'm not going to name the company, but it's a very common school food vendor. There are no microwaves in the school's kitchen only large ovens. Microwaves are available to the staff in the teachers' lunchroom/staff lounge, but students do not have access to that space.

Do the children actually eat this food?
The kids only eat bits and pieces of the food offered to them. Sometimes the kids only eat the fruit or the hot dog or occasionally they don't eat any of it.

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