Sioux Falls School Lunch Goes Viral
A Sioux Falls mom posted a photo of her kid's school lunch at an unnamed elementary school and it is causing some rabble rabble on Facebook.
Pictured is a bright green banana, a tortilla with about an ounce of chicken in it, a splattering of refried beans, a lunch tray compartment full of lettuce, and a carton of milk. This is not the most appetizing looking meal I have ever seen.
My kids go to school in Sioux Falls too. I have eaten lunch with them. What I see in the photo is relatively representative of what I saw and ate when I was there. It's also reminiscent of the meals I got when I was in school. Thirty years ago it cost $2.00 for a school lunch for me in Beresford. Now it's $3.55 for this bountiful feast.
Many comments on this photo are ridiculous. Some seem to remember the good ol' days when eating lunch at school was like going to a fancy Sunday morning brunch buffet. I don't remember that being the case. Other comments throw out that in Europe it's so much better while French kids eat chicken nuggets too. Other keyboard activists blame Michelle Obama as if she does the purchasing for the district. One comment wondered how could anyone get "filled up" with that meal when I thought the purpose of lunch was to get fed and not get full. It's popcorn quality reading.
School lunches suck. They have always sucked. They will continue to suck. The district is preparing meals for students, many of whom those meals are subsidized, and they are trying to stretch every dollar they can as far as they can. This means kids aren't going to get prime rib or perfectly yellow bananas.
People lose perspective on the Internet and react. This lunch is not appetizing in appearance and would never pass muster on a cooking show, but should it? Does it need to? The banana is green. So what! It's a banana and still a healthy thing to eat. That's being picky. The chicken is a light portion. But it is a solid protein. The beans are refried beans. I have them at the school. They taste like refried beans. They aren't dressed up with sour cream or cilantro and lime accented pico de gallo. But it's food. If you don't like it, send the kids with cold lunch like we do about 70 percent of the time.
What about the kids whose only decent meal is the school lunch? Valid point. That is a sad lunch that if this is the only decent meal a kid is going to get in a day. I don't have an answer to that. But to think the quality of food should improve without increasing cost because people think it should be better is lunacy. Not only does the district have to buy the food, they have to pay the people who prepare it, transport it, and serve it. $3.55 isn't an unreasonable amount of money.
Since Facebook is where all our problems are solved I look forward to seeing how the lunch is improved while lowering the cost and still serving it at a reduced rate to those who can't afford it. Then again, in two days everyone who is upset will have forgotten about it so nevermind.