Fernando Dominguez cut the figure of a young revolutionary leader during a recent lunch period at his elementary school. “Who thinks the lunch is not good enough?” the seventh-grader shouted to his lunch mates in Spanish and English. Dozens of hands flew in the air and fellow students shouted along: “We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch!” Fernando waved his hand over the crowd and asked a visiting reporter: “Do you see the situation?” At his public school, Little Village Academy on Chicago’s West Side, students are not allowed to pack lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria.

Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.

“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” Carmona said. “It’s about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception.”

A Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman said she could not say how many schools prohibit packed lunches and that decision is left to the judgment of the principals. Any school that bans homemade lunches also puts more money in the pockets of the district’s food provider, Chartwells-Thompson. The federal government pays the district for each free or reduced-price lunch taken, and the caterer receives a set fee from the district per lunch.

Does anyone really believe this is for the kiddies? If so, read the last line above for clarification.


  1. sargasso_c says:

    For confused foreigners, American schools feed children at mid-day. This is called a “school lunch”. Parents, neighbors and tribal members are not invited.

  2. zeb says:

    Hi, A little word from Paris, France.
    I’ve been 1 Year in Junior High School in Alabama, some 20 years ago, ate the school provided lunch. It was the worst food I ever ate: bad tasting, fat, little choice and variety. Most of the children here came with their own food.
    Here in France, children either eat lunch at home( they have a +/- 2 hour break) or they eat the school lunch. Parents pay for the lunches, according to their income, it’s always affordable. The lunches quality and healthiness are very important to parents, and they have a say in these matters, thru commissions.
    About the soda / fruit juice choice: We don’t have that problem. At lunch, children drink tap water. No other choice. It’s the only healthy drink, and they’ve never complained about it.
    Of course, when children get older, they are tempted to eat lunch at other places, like the local fast food. It’s not that bad, as long as it’s not everyday. It’s the school’s duty to be attractive enough to keep the children eating at school. And the parent’s attitude is as always most important…

  3. BrownBagger says:

    As a kid I hated eating the school’s food, and my parents hated paying for it.

  4. Animby says:

    # 36 pedro said, “…you never argue with crazy people; you just tell them they’re right and run away from them.”

    You’re right……………

  5. Shaking My Head says:

    …”that decision is left to the judgment of the PRINCIPALS”???????? Astounding.

  6. tcc3 says:

    “Not a lot of meat in these gym mats.”

  7. msbpodcast says:

    It doesn’t matter.

    The crap is all approved by the FDA whether your kids eat the shit from the school cafeteria or the shit you get yourself from the supermarket…

    At least eating crap from the cafeteria, they can bond in the shared misery of a school lunch.

    A lot of kids in the inner city (like in NYC, or Chicago, or L.A. or … plenty of poor neighborhoods in this country,) don’t have food at home anyway.

    At least its something…

    Having the kids bring something from home sets up all kinds of problems.

    They have uniforms to wear, they might al well eat that way too.

    Domo origato, Mr. Roboto. 🙂

  8. Hugh Cares says:

    Dance, monkeys, dance! So easy now to raise little “issues” that get you all excited. Will Caylee’s mom get the needle? Will Charlie Sheen get his job back? Will the school principals come out of the closet and put on their armbands? WHO GIVES A SHIT?

    Your rights are already gone, and you sold them for 500 channels and a bag of Doritos. Now you can all sit around and blame the Republicans or the Democrats or the gays or whatever, and none of your prattling amounts to a hill of ant shit.

    Get ready for the plantation, kiddies.

  9. Glenn E. says:

    A valuable lesson for these school children. This is America. You have little or no freedom of choice, where government subsidized profits are concerned. So they’ll only learn only what they’re told they can learn, play only as they’re told they can play, and eat only what they’re told they can eat. But they still have a choice, in a two party election system. HA!

  10. Mr. Fusion says:


    The crap is all approved by the FDA whether your kids eat the shit from the school cafeteria or the shit you get yourself from the supermarket…

    Not true. The Department of Agriculture is responsible for the Food Pyramid. They are also responsible for paying farmers subsidies, regulating tobacco growing, spraying insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides, and buying excess production that is sold at a reduced price to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and Indian Reservations.

    Even though the “F” in FDA stands for “Food”, they are more concerned with food additives than the purity or quality of the food itself.

  11. bobbo, the Rebuplicans want to Kill America says:

    TEAdud==you forget that in our progressive future, windshields will have rights too. All things balance out.

    I challenge anyone to set forth the argument that the Super Rich need more tax cuts while the poor, working, and middle classes need service cuts. Go ahead: make that argument.

    If not, Wake Up Fools. The Republicans want to Kill America but they can’t do it without your vote.

  12. ± says:

    And you can tell all the idiots here who have helped bring the USA to the brink of destruction by electing Rs and Ds and don’t see this, and will continue voting the same way until they have finished the job.

    Vote 3rd party or YOU are part of the problem.

  13. tcc3 says:

    #50 TeaDud

    There you go with the privatizing education fantasy again. Why don’t we just skip to the part where you don’t have any response to the many problems caused by privatizing education.

    {queue 3 posts of mindless prattle by TeaDud}

  14. Glenn E. says:

    This is all going on in Oprah’s little fiefdom, and she says SQUAT about it. She better not try running for office anytime soon (with Hillary). Because that could definitely be a deal breaker, come election time. Especially considering how she needs imposed meal planning, far more than the children do. And it doesn’t appear to be happin.

    Is all this sudden concern really about fretting over school children’s health, ALONE?! Or is it really more of a concern about these kids being healthy enough to pass a military physical, in their near future. The long arm of the military state may be extending back to the cradle, now. Making sure their future soldiers are in shape for whatever war they’re called upon to die for. Can’t be wasting precious weeks and tax dollars, wiping kids into shape, after signing them up. And let’s not overlook all the pro-war propaganda the schools are probably feeding them, besides the “healthier meals”. All part of Dick Cheney’s America.

  15. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    #14 BigBoyBC & #16 TooManyPuppies –

    I thought the school districts didn’t have to ban anything since the sugary soft drinks were all to be removed as per the agreement worked out a few years ago by a Bill Clinton group. Soft drink vending machines have been on school campuses for decades. By the early 2000s, school districts were being paid extra money by the drink cos. so that a particular company’s machines could be sold EXCLUSIVELY. These vending machines are located in hallways right outside classrooms. Many children would have more money for lunches and breakfasts if they weren’t spending as much on the machines.

    100% orange juice – no sugar, high fructose corn syrup or any other sweeteners added – has more calories than Coca-Cola; maybe 20% more. Orange Juice has vitamin C. Coca-Cola has no vitamins, protein, or minerals. Coca-cola and other sugary soft drinks have no nutrient density. They are liquid candy.

    That’s why the Coca-cola corp. bought Glaceau vitamin water. Coca-cola also has Dasani bottled water and PepsiCo. has Aquafina bottled water.

    I heard one school wants to create an allergen-free cafeteria since one student had a violent reaction to peanuts. Food allergies are considered differently now, too.

  16. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    # 52 Glenn E. –

    Top military officers list obesity as the biggest reason recruits will not be able to enter the armed forces in the future.


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