What exactly is your school lunch project?
I’m eating school lunch just like the kids every day in 2010 to raise awareness about what students eat every day. My hope is that the US becomes more reflective about how the food children eat affects their well-being and success in school. I certainly do not speak for all school lunch programs, but from the comments I have been receiving, what I eat is fairly typical of what most students eat in our country.
What inspired you to do this?
I was disheartened by what I saw the kids eating at school. As I continue with the project and physically consume the lunches myself, I get even more upset.
Is this a publicity stunt?
I have nothing to gain from doing this project personally. I am just a regular person and I’m certainly not sophisticated enough to design some kind of “stunt.”
Are you affiliated with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign or did she inspire you?
I came up with this idea on my own in December 2009. I applaud her efforts and support her 100%. She is welcome to contact me.
What are your credentials? How can you judge the food?
I am not a nutritionist. I am just a parent who wants the best for all kids.
Why are you anonymous? Don’t you stand by your ideals?
I am anonymous because I want to protect my job and my identity. I like that I’m “un-googleable.” Although I feel passionate about child nutrition, I believe that being anonymous is the best thing for my professional career. I really want to reveal more, but it’s not safe for me personally.
Why is this important now?
The Child Nutrition Act is being debated in congress. It’s important that people realize that funding for school lunches is vital to children’s success in school and in life.
What’s up with all the packaging?
The meals brought in frozen and heated up in large ovens. The containers are paper with plastic over the top. Microwaving is not allowed for school lunch (from what I understand). There are no real dishes or cutlery. Ninety-five percent of food delivered to schools is frozen.
Where is the food made? Are there microwaves at the school?
I don’t know where the food is made. I’m not going to name the company, but it’s a very common school food vendor. There are no microwaves in the school’s kitchen only large ovens. Microwaves are available to the staff in the teachers’ lunchroom/staff lounge, but students do not have access to that space.
Do the students get free or reduced price lunch?
Many of the students at the school get free and reduced price lunch.
Do the children actually eat this food?
The kids only eat bits and pieces of the food offered to them. Sometimes the kids only eat the fruit or the hot dog or occasionally they don’t eat any of it.
Do the children get a choice?
There is a vegetarian option as an alternative to the main course, which is usually meat-based. Sometimes the vegetarian option is lined up with the main entree, but other times a student has to request that item specifically.
Where is the nutritional information?
I cannot locate nutritional information at the school or on my district’s website for the meals my students eat.
How much time do the kids get for lunch?
How much time do the kids get for recess?
There is no recess at my school. Believe me, this is becoming very common across the US. Even the schools that schedule recess often have to bump it to fit in academics.
Does your school recycle?
No. That’s a whole different issue.
How is your health?
I’m doing just fine. I had bloodwork done (completely coincidentally) in December and I’m normal. Because this is one meal per day and I’m free to eat other food for the rest of my day, my health has not be largely impacted from what I can tell. You can read more about my health if you click on the “health” label.
Why did you put ads on the site?
To help me recoup the lunch costs as well as to compensate me for my work on the blog, which is similar to a part-time job on top of my full-time work. When I did a poll of my readers’ opinions on ads in January, 80% of them thought it was a good idea.
Are you aware of Jamie Oliver and what he is doing?
I became aware of his efforts in the UK and here in the US after I started the project. I watched his TED talk and I’m way excited about Food Revolution. I think he is a compassionate soul who can no longer stand by and watch as children’s health is compromised by crappy food. We follow each other on Twitter!
Ask me other questions and I’ll update the FAQ! Thanks for reading!