Yesterday’s school lunch

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I ate the students’ lunch since I had forgotten my own:

One tiny turkey sausage link,
3 baked French toast sticks and
about 2 heaping tablespoons of unseasoned corn.
Estimated calories: Under 300 anyway.

Lunch represented a total win for my diet. The teacher’s lounge talked about my lunch for awhile, though, basically appalled. No one eats the school lunch anymore so no one sees what the students are eating. Teachers used to stand in the cafeteria lunch line to buy a hot lunch before all the new guidelines came down. Food service gave teachers a break and the cost ran around $2.50 – $3.50 depending on location. The lasagna might have been mushy, but the price was right.

Last year, my district high school closed the lunch line for teachers, a fixture of many years. Too few people were using that line. The lunch lady liked her job and kept encouraging people to come back, but Lean Cuisines were tastier, cheaper and at least as filling. Homemade sandwiches became a common staple.


1) These lunches don’t have enough calories for an active, growing adolescent. They don’t have enough calories for a sedentary gamer, either.
2) My school is near a 90% poverty rate. One teacher observed that lunch might be the only meal some of these kids get. They should also get a meager breakfast, but the fact is that she’s right. At the end of the month when the money runs out, there may be little food in the home pantry.
3) One person’s understandable crusade should not be able to put the whole country on a diet.