I will cell phone blog every couple days. I’m available by email for any questions…I’m thinking about organizing some kind of massive free conference call about school lunches. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Some additional guest bloggers will contribute sporadically and then in July and August I will be blogging about my volunteering experience. So check back in with me over the summer to see what I’m up to.
Today’s menu: chicken nuggets, two slices of bread, carrots, fruit cup, milk
The bread/nugget combo is bizarre, but that’s USDA regulations for grain for ya! I ate everything… and I’m done for the school year! **happy dance**
I want to dedicate this project to two groups of people. Of course I’m doing this for the kids at my school. My own child was my inspiration, but what has kept me going are the faces of my students especially when I watch them line up for lunch. Hunger, eager, and just plain cute. I don’t want to generalize because there is a tremendous amount of diversity at my school, but on the whole the students at my school have working class parents. Parents who work for the McDonald’s at O’Hare, Taco Bell, Old Country Buffet, Starbucks, etc; parents who work the night shift at Target; parents who work second or third shift at various factories (one parent makes clothing); parents who are day laborers; parents who are in school studying nursing or accounting or medical assisting to make a better life for the family; parents on welfare; parents in gangs; parents with serious disabilities; parents who clean your office at night… People who don’t have a ton of money and are doing the best they can. My students are no less deserving of quality food than any other American kids.
And I also want to dedicate the project to all lunchroom staff including “lunch ladies” and food service professionals who are busting their asses to feed millions of needy kids every day. Lunch ladies don’t have any power to make changes and certainly don’t get much respect considering the amazing work they do. Too many kids go to bed hungry and lunch ladies are there to offer a hot meal and a friendly face to the kids that need it the most. The lunchroom manager at my school has personal relationships with some of the “troubled youth” at my school. I know that makes a big difference in their lives even if they only get to chat briefly in the lunchroom once a day. It only takes one staff member in the school to make an impact on the life of one student and sometimes it’s not their classroom teacher. I mentioned before that my school is not air conditioned…well, can you imagine the kitchen? If you have ever worked in food service you know that it is hard, sweaty work but without air conditioning? Anyway, I want to thank them.
So if you visit the blog for the daily school lunches, this is it until the Fall. I’m excited that tomorrow I can go to work and not eat school lunch. In fact, over my lunch break I’m probably going to get real tacos at a little hole in the wall that I absolutely adore that’s not too far away. It’s a special treat…my mouth is already watering…el pastor with cilantro. I wish you could join me!
The rest of this week I’m going to blog more about “what I’ve learned” about the project, a June recap, and I’m going to want your nominations for June’s titanium spork. My doctor’s appointment is scheduled for Friday and the allergist on Monday so I’ll update you on my health next week (I really don’t expect to see major changes in my health).
Thanks so much for your support and for participating along with me. It has meant the world to me to read your encouraging emails. This has been a really, really long 101 days of school lunches. There is no doubt in my mind — I couldn’t have done it without you guys!