School Lunch Found Guilty!


BIG NEWS: SCHOOL FOOD MEETING!!!!!!!! by noureens
April 28, 2010, 6:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Noureen and Esme say:Yesterday, afterschool, we had a very drastic meeting. Can you guess what is was about? IT WAS ABOUT SCHOOL LUNCH!!!!!!!!! The big bosses of school lunch, our teachers, school supporters and students, and a chef/restaurant owner attended that meeting and fought for our lunch. 

Our “Play with your food” teacher(Amy), Parent coordinator/community liaison (Sandra) and our Principal (Laura) both had some strong opinions about the meeting-

Laura: “The School Lunch meeting with students, teachers, Chef/Restaurant Owner Ron Silver, representatives from the Office of School Food and The Young Women’s Leadership Network, including founder Ann Tisch, was a great success. Students described their school food experiences and shared ideas on how to improve school food, including developing a School Food Committee to discuss what students are looking for in a nutritious and tasty school lunch. Possibilities provided by the Office of School Food for improving school lunch included a salad bar, developing our own menu, using produce from a local farmers’ market and creating partnerships with chefs from local restaurants to help in the preparation of food. We also found out that we will be able to use the kitchen for after school cooking programs. This is a great hands-on way for students to learn about nutrition and cooking. This meeting was a very important first step to ensuring that school lunch at TYWLS of Astoria improves for all!”

Sandra: “The ‘Peek Into the Lunchroom’ meeting, in my opinion, did open up many possibilities and opportunities for change. It was an amazing accomplishment for our school. Always remember, you can’t change things unless you’re part of the process. The questions and roundtable discussion were well thought out and powerful. Now, dedication and hard work will be the keys to success in creating change, not only for our school, but for the long term systemic change. A first step is the biggest movement. This meeting was a first step.”

Amy: “Since we started this website back in January, I’ve spent a LOT of time reading, talking and thinking about school lunch, so I went into this meeting with all kinds of information and enthusiasm. I’m so proud of this site and my students, and we were so honored by the people who were willing to sit around the table with us last night. What a great opportunity to talk about possibilities. I have to say, however, that I left the meeting feeling a little deflated. I’m sure our food will get better in September when our kitchen is functional, but I think the changes that were presented to us at the meeting are things would have happened anyway. And while a salad bar will be a great addition, I’m not convinced that the food quality will improve significantly. I think having a chef in individual school kitchens should be a priority, and would make a real difference, so I’m curious about the possibility of partnering with local chefs, but I wonder: If he/she has to work with things like pre-cooked, low-quality meat and packaged breads and cookies, what can he/she really do? I guess I was hoping for a conversation that leaned more toward IMMEDIATE radical change and a brand-new way of doing things. I’m disappointed that we didn’t make much progress in that direction. But we’re not finished with lunch yet. I like Sandra’s take on this — the meeting was an amazing FIRST step. Our next step, now, needs to be figuring out how our small school can fight its way through a big system.”

Some of our students opinions/feelings were- 
Noshin: “I think that they didn’t want to listen to what I wanted to say. I think that Ron Silver supported our opinions and what we had to say. They seem to send us a basic message: Why are you being so impatient? Wait for your kitchen! Well, I hope getting the kitchen will expand the lunch menu.”

Jensine: “I liked the meeting but what i really want is the garden. Because that way we have fresh food. I really want Kosher food because I can’t eat the meat. I am looking forward to the kitchen. Because I like pizza and mozzerella stick, we should also have ice cream!”

Nabila: “To be honest, I think that we only said our opinions but nothing will be done about it. Although they guaranteed a kitchen next September, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

We felt like this was an amazing battle and wish we could of been there.

Thats all, from Noureen and Esme.

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4 Comments so far
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I liked the way you talked about what happened in the meeting and how we’re going to wrok together to change the school food problems in school.

This pic could’ve been a little clear but it’s OK. 🙂

Comment by Misbaha

I’m a new visitor to your website and I love that you were able to meet with administrators to talk about the lunch issues.

However, after browsing through all of the postings, I have to ask… Do any of you feel even the tiniest shred of thankfulness for having food to eat at all? Post after post just seems mean and snarky and ungrateful and, well, entitled.

Comment by Cita K.

Cita K: Thanks for visiting our site. Your question is understandable, especially given the fact that you don’t have the benefit of knowing the bloggers personally. It’s difficult to interpret a writer’s tone over the Internet.

Reading your comment actually reminded me of a conversation I once had with a principal (not my current one)I worked for. It was a typical week of teaching in NYC. I ran into my principal in the office, and he asked me how things were going. My response was laden with stress, and he asked me what was up. I don’t know that any one thing in particular was bothering me, I was simply exhausted. There’s a lot of planning and managing and grading that goes on behind the scenes (read: after school, on weekends, at night, on the subway, etc.) when you’re a teacher — not to mention the work of teaching itself. With all my classes, I was responsible for about 100 students (approximately 35 in each of my classes), and when you’re an English teacher, the grading and paperwork alone can sometimes feel overwhelming. My principal let me vent a little and then said, “You think THAT’s bad? We used to have 250 (or some ridiculous number) kids !” Needless to say, this didn’t make me feel any better. I thought, just because things used to be even WORSE, doesn’t mean we should be satisfied with the way they are now.

As far as lunch is concerned, there most certainly are kids who have things a lot worse than we do here, kids whose schools don’t feed them at all, kids who don’t even get to go to school. It’s not fair. Absolutely not. But, again, that doesn’t mean that we should be satisfied with what we’ve got, simply because it could be worse.

I can assure you that the girls posting here are hopeful that by reaching out through the Internet they will make changes not only for themselves, but also for kids across New York City. They blog with enthusiasm and genuine optimism. They wholeheartedly believe that if they stand up for themselves, they might make a difference in the world. These girls aren’t snarky or mean, but I think they ARE entitled to a lunch that is edible, and they ARE entitled to stick up for themselves when they feel they’re being treated poorly. I hope you will continue to visit this site and join them in their fight.

Comment by FoodTeacherAmy

Hi Cita i totally understand youre point and i have a great answer to it. Every one of us student we get really!!!!!!!! good food by our parents we love it we are oviously used to nice tasty food. So when we eat food like we are getting we dont think its very nice we think that the person making it isnt even caring. We are kids so kids oviosly have soo many opinions we care about the food we do think we should be thankfullness but its like saying you no who cares someone put poisen in our food but lets be gratefull and eat it then fell bad and sick thats the same thing. WE try to eat the food but how could we when we dont like it!! We hope somebody out there is just understanding our feelings but most adults cant because their not the one eating it thats why they tell us be grateful we would if we idd get good food! Im hoping people listen to OUR (KIDS)VOICES the ones that are suffering through it. Im not trying to be rude but if it seems liek it im sorry!

Comment by khadija




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