Hi, I’m Dr. Susan Rubin. My journey as a school food advocate has been long and full of interesting twists and turns. I’ve been at this since my youngest child hit 2nd grade, she’s now a sophomore in college. Along the way, my advocacy work was featured in a movie, Two Angry Moms ( http://www.angrymoms.org/ )along with a cameo appearance in another one: Killer at Large (http://www.killeratlarge.com/ ) Most importantly, I worked with others to form a non-profit organization called Better School Food ( http://www.betterschoolfood.org/ ) that supports school food advocates on the grassroots level.
In a self-op situation, those lunch ladies you see in the cafeteria are employees of the school district just like teachers and principals are. Often times, they are members of the community and even have kids in the district. An estimated 60-75% of school lunchrooms across the country are self-operated.
Other school districts, like mine, outsource lunch by hiring food service management companies (FSMCs). These corporations bring in their own employees and often make a profit by utilizing large volumes of packaged foods and snacks that qualify for rebates from the manufacturers of those products. Often, many of these snacks are the same junk that you as a school food advocate are working hard to get out of your cafeteria!