Interview with a school lunch

When someone as old as The Existential Baker thinks about school lunch it brings up an image of an old lady wearing a hideous hairnet, dirty worn cafeteria uniforms, possessing suspicious personal hygienic habits sneering at me to take my meatloaf and move my tray down the line. A few steps further was what could be her older sister tossing a small dish of canned peaches on my tray and not saying a word but signifying with her head that I should continue on. Up next were rows of milk containers of which I was expected to grab for myself as I move to pay the cashier lunch lady. $.30. A whole lunch for thirty cents, and if I could come up with an additional ten cents I could buy an ice cream pop. I would then take my tray searching for the spot my classmate sit everyday.
But those days have changed, the foods are healthier, the lunch ladies have nicer cleaner uniforms, and most lunches are purchased with a prepaid program card which is where school lunches problems have become so public as of late. The parents of some of the school children lately have neglected or forgotten to remain current and school officials are taking a hard line embarrassing the kids and worse. Some are even tossing school lunches away like yesterdays trash. Lets hear what school lunch has to say about all the attention.

EB: So school lunch, exactly what happened in Utah?

SL: Well I know you remember me in my glory days Mr. baker, and since that time I have worked tirelessly with the Surgeon Generals, the Department of Education, and the AMA to bring healthier options to the students. I never asked to be dragged into this political battle and frankly I don’t like it.

EB: Speaking of health, you’ve also been criticized for becoming too healthy from some students who don’t want your raw veggies and fruits. What started that fiasco?

SL: Well that was my first experience with politics. The First lady Mrs. Obama came to me and pointed out ways in which I could contribute to reducing obesity and promote the general good health of children everywhere. Next thing I know I’m all over the news because its unfair to viewers children to be “forced” to eat healthy. I get it, kids would rather me offer greasy cheeseburgers dripping with fat and soda and candy but FOTUS was right, those options are unwise and place the children’s health at risk. Unfortunately we can’t force parents to monitor their own children to eat proper so that’s where I could help by offering an affordable alternative with health benefits. I offer these alternatives while their parents are off working or sitting home eating Bon Bons or whatever. It’s not my fault they are afraid to stand up to their children and tell them the choices we gave you Existential. You remember your two choices, take it or leave it. What you did outside of school was your business but when you’re in our institutions it was my responsibility to educate you on how to eat. That’s all we want, a little support from the parents when their children are in our charge. We are not Mickie Dee’s or Taco King, we offer affordable healthy choices.

EB: I applaud that Lunch, but let me get back to the pre paid programs that are so out of control. Many of the schools have prepaid systems for school lunches and they seem to work out fairly well. But in Utah, the authorities at one school singled out students whose parents hadn’t stayed up to date on their prepaid cards, told the children they were not allowed any food and then tossed the uneaten lunch in the trash. How did that make you feel?

SL: I’m still burning over that, why anyone would use me to make some bullshit political statement is beyond absurd. On top of that then throwing me away while there are plenty of churches or food banks that would have loved to taken me in to do some good instead of ending up in a landfill. It’s despicable! The truth is this was not a community of people who are neglectful of their children or who are hurting for money. It happened in an average American city of hard working people who have so much on their plate, pun intended, that they sometimes overlook the more mundane tasks like keeping track of their lunch cards. All the authorities needed to do was to remind the parents they were behind on their payments and it could have all been avoided. That’s actually a practice they used before, but for some unknown reason they determined it was not a good use of their time. Apparently their time is better spent embarrassing children, making parents feel inadequate, an throwing away food that could have fed the disenfranchised.

EB: I can see you’re angry and rightly so school lunch. After years of being treated with complete indifference I for one am very happy and proud of your accomplishments and hope you get your due. Also pun intended, thank you for taking the time out to talk with me, an I hope your future relationship with school officials and parents can benefit from this tragedy. Thank again School Lunch.

SL: Thank you Mr. Existential Baker, we appreciate all the support we can get.
So there you have it, School Lunches endured year’s of ridicule before taking an important role in children’s health only to be misused and politicized. I’d like to thank you all for joining us today, if you have children please stay current on your prepaid lunch cards and give school lunch your support in its attempt to bring healthier and more nutritious option to your children. Eat well, eat healthy, and live life every day…..PEACE

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