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School food
17394 cr points
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22 / M / Michigan
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Posted 1/8/15
Once you know what it's like to not have any food. Then you won't be complaining about what's on the menu.

My schools food was alright. I got the wraps most often.
4650 cr points
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UK
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Posted 1/8/15
Due to my family moving. I've been to a lot of schools. I think my school lunches were free when I first started school in the UK at 5. I then moved the the Caribbean and when I was enrolled in school at first there was no meals served at school unless you pre-ordered and prepaid for it from the school tuck shop. They did give us milk and biscuits at break time as a snack. I hated the milk. It was powdered milk that they'd mixed up for us. It was usually lumpy. I suppose taste wise it wasn't bad because it was buttercream milk but the lumpy texture was awful. Some children actually liked those lumps. I'd scoop out the lumps and give it to those who liked it. I used to have to carry a lunch kit that my grandmother had prepared.

When I was 7 they decided to launch a national school feeding program and all state schools offered it. Everybody started to line up to get our meals and we said goodbye to lunch kits. Lunches were not cooked on site. It was delivered and served hot. We all got it in boxes the same sort that you find chicken and chips would come in when you bought that. At first they provided spoons. We also got a fruit for dessert and we were expected to get water from the school taps to wash it all down with. The food was good. It was similar to home cooking. I left the state school and went to a private paid school so I returned to having to use lunch kits. By the time I was 11 they'd decided to provide school lunches depending on income so children considered in need were put on a list and they'd get the lunches in state schools. They stopped providing spoons so ingenious children would rip of part of the lid of the disposable boxes the lunch came in and used it as a spoon. Fruit wasn't always guaranteed with the meal then.

In the UK today many areas have free school lunches by means testing. If the parents have a paid income then they don't qualify for free meals. Others pay per meal or per term for it. Some working people struggle to afford to pay for school lunches and decide it's cheaper for them to provide their child with a lunch box prepared at home. Fussy eaters or those with allergy problems also come with lunch boxes. If a child has been booked for school lunches and the parent hasn't paid the bill then they'll be told to provide that child with a packed lunch.

There are some boroughs that have reintroduced free lunches for all in state schools. Politicians had offered to reintroduce free lunches for children aged 4/5-6 and this was done. Since elections will soon come around I've heard they want to extend it up to age 11.
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UK
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Posted 1/8/15 , edited 1/8/15
I think I'll talk about secondary school separately. Not all state schools provided free lunches to those in need after the age of 12. One school left us to our own devices at lunch time so we could choose to bring in a lunch kit, try the school cafeteria or leave the school to buy food elsewhere. I'd been sent to a large state school about 1000 students aged 11/12- 19, 120 students per year separated into 4 classes. The first day we new kiddies as the older students called us decided to buy lunch at school. We never got it. We never saw the cafeteria just a crowd of students pushing and there was a real risk of being squashed and trampled. Everyone was all bigger and stronger. The crowd only cleared a few minutes before the bell was due and they hadn't left even a crumb behind. We went hungry that day. The next day we either brought in our packed lunch or left the school to find local shops. The lunch time crowd in Kuroko's Basketball, season 1, reminds me of that school at lunchtime.

I changed to a smaller grammar type school. They had a queue system each day of the school week one year got a turn to be in the front of the queue. The only ones who didn't have to queue were six formers. You had to either bring in a packed lunch or buy from the school cafeteria. We were not allowed to leave the school premises until it was home time.

Oh, I tried school lunch that I'd paid for twice in school in the UK when I was 16/17. I almost puked, had to spit it out in the end. All the children in the high school had known each other since the age of 5 and weren't used to outsiders coming in. So I a "foreigner" was introduce to this girl from Hong Kong who didn't speak English as my buddy/friend. She had a good laugh when she saw me spit the food out. From her expression and motions I realised she'd done the same thing some time ago. I started to buy lunch outside of the school but hated having to go so far so I just stopped eating lunch altogether.
13388 cr points
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21 / M
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Posted 1/8/15
I've been on both sides. Most of my school years I didn't pay for my lunch since I qualified for free lunch. For two years, I went to a middle school where I had to pay for my lunch. Best school lunch I ever had. I didn't complain about my free lunch, I still ate it, but I will never forget those middle school lunches.
50582 cr points
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24 / F / USA
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Posted 1/8/15
People could get free lunches depending on their family income I think. Meh, the food wasn't all that good. I remember back in either middle or high school they were selling Domino's pizza and breadsticks and everyone would try to be the first one to get to the cafeteria to buy them before they sold out.
35465 cr points
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Posted 1/8/15 , edited 1/8/15
This is what is purported to be a "typical" Swedish school lunch (as in, what you'd expect to see if you walked into a random Swedish school at lunchtime):



Would you say that it represents a school which has sprung for the added fee for a "quality" lunch, and if so would you say that it accurately represents lunch in a "typical" Swedish school? And while I'm asking things, is it also the case that food is served buffet-style at lunch in Sweden, with students taking as much or as little of whatever dish they come across as they please?

To answer your own questions, I hold that school lunch ought to be provided freely to students (and to the standard of quality represented by the image above at a minimum). Providing a wholesome, satisfying, nutritious lunch to all students is the social responsibility of any nation which can afford to do so, and Sweden more than qualifies as such. As for this:



That looks like an attempt at chicken and dumplings which hit the dumplings a lot harder than it hit the chicken. It doesn't look as unpalatable as you and others have said (I take your word for it that it was awful, though), but regardless it doesn't look anything like the image above it.

To answer your second question, your school should have monitors (teachers or students assigned to oversee behavior) at lunch. These monitors should be responsible first and foremost for ensuring that people don't violate school rules, but a second function for them to serve would be to ensure that trays find their way to the appropriate location (whether by forcing students to take their dishes to the appropriate place or doing so themselves). In other words, this shouldn't have ever been an issue. But since it is apparently an issue, here's what the school should have done: issued progressive penalties to students who failed to return their trays and dishes. It should've started with a verbal warning from a monitor, progressing onward to detentions in as abundant an amount as would be needed to get the point across, with mandatory community service (such as assisting the school maintenance staff in non-hazardous labor such as pulling weeds) being a last resort. What they should not have done is decreased the quality of food or pulled preferred menu items. That makes no sense.
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24 / M / Scotland
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Posted 1/8/15 , edited 1/8/15
I live in Scotland and meals have only been recently made free for p1-p3s so I never had free school meals. Some people did for unknown reasons though.

To this day, my primary school's chicken curry is the best food I've ever tasted. I left school without the recipe though. I may have re-discovered it though and I'm yet to recreate the food I loved so much as a child.

School meals in South Lanarkshire traditionally cost £1.20 but the price has been risen to £1.50 because of inflation. They include a free drink, free veg and often a free snack.
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18 / M / New York City, Ne...
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Posted 1/8/15
School food is cheaper than purchasing a sandwich outside although $1.75 isn't that much of a difference from $3~$5. My school has too many students (5.5k) and so we're not allowed outside during lunch breaks/free periods. The quality has always been crap so I stopped eating it after 7th grade when school lunches were no longer fully subsidized. I've only began eating it again this year (3rd year in h.s.) because the servings aren't as paltry and the options are slightly improved. There are always cold cuts sandwiches and pizza but the other choices were typically "taco meat", mozzarella sticks, and chicken fingers. I was absolutely stunned when I saw ravioli (albeit filled with squash), actually seasoned chicken (could see the pepper and paprika), a bread stick, and flavored ices being served together. idk if my expectations for school food are low or what I just described also seems decent to others.
1256 cr points
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16 / F / Connecticut
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Posted 1/8/15
I have to pay for lunch at my school, but if you are poor enough, you qualify for reduced or free. The majority of the people at my school don't pay full price for lunch. School lunch, is usually bad to mediocre. Currently, everything is whole wheat thanks to new nutrition laws in the US for public schools. I have a serious thing against whole wheat foods (don't ask) so I just buy a bunch of snacks.
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22 / F / None ya business.
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Posted 1/8/15
My school district was so small that the whole thing qualified for free lunches. As for quality, it was a day by day thing. Some days the food was actually really good and you could get seconds. Other days just... no. And we used to have amazing chocolate milk. But near the end of my high school career they replaced it with a low-fat milk substitute. Thanks fat kids.

As for your school's situation, it seems like the retaliation of your lunch worker's only screwed them over in the end. The restaurants probably shouldn't be advertising at the school directly, but they'd likely get about as much business anyway given the quality of the food offered at the school.
17456 cr points
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(´◔౪◔)✂❤
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Posted 1/8/15
Does anyone else have free breakfast too? I know in America we do.

......or more specifically in new york city. As for lunch, students have to sign in a "lunch form" to be qualified for free lunch. It's determined based on the house hold income. If you don't meet the qualifications you either have to pay full or half price for lunch. Which sucks because back when I was in middle school, lunch was always free as long as you just hand in the form. I can't really complain about free food, I mean how can anyone complain about free cereal and pizza?

Typical free school lunch in an American public school
2841 cr points
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M / Houston, Tx
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Posted 1/8/15
Thing is man,

If food were really free in school, that'd mean tax goes up or parents pay a weekly fee, there ain't nothing free in this world without a cost, not even freedom.
Posted 1/8/15 , edited 1/8/15
I don't think my lunch was ever free, there was just a set of fees due at the beginning of the year and one of them was if you decided to buy a meal plan. Though in middle school we were allowed to go home for lunch if we lived within a few blocks or had a parent pick us up and stated we were doing so in homeroom. In high school we could leave campus for lunch and go were we wanted, in both cases as long as we were back in time.

Middle school was in the early 90's for me and my area was fairly rural, so I guess school administrators weren't as anal and controlling.
The stuff I read now sounds like they think they're running prisons.
416 cr points
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20 / M / Australia
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Posted 1/8/15
I'm seeing a great lack of a bring your own food option. I dunno about you guys but in Australia you have to bring your own lunches to school. either that or bring lunch money. But dad always made me fresh sandwiches
46429 cr points
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20 / M / Sweden
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Posted 1/8/15

BlueOni wrote:

This is what is purported to be a "typical" Swedish school lunch (as in, what you'd expect to see if you walked into a random Swedish school at lunchtime):



Would you say that it represents a school which has sprung for the added fee for a "quality" lunch, and if so would you say that it accurately represents lunch in a "typical" Swedish school? And while I'm asking things, is it also the case that food is served buffet-style at lunch in Sweden, with students taking as much or as little of whatever dish they come across as they please?


I'd say that looks like something you'd get normally in a Swedish school... If you're really really lucky. In most cases you won't get food like that.






That looks like an attempt at chicken and dumplings which hit the dumplings a lot harder than it hit the chicken. It doesn't look as unpalatable as you and others have said (I take your word for it that it was awful, though), but regardless it doesn't look anything like the image above it.


Oh really? It doesn't taste good, smell good are look good if you ask me.



To answer your second question, your school should have monitors (teachers or students assigned to oversee behavior) at lunch. These monitors should be responsible first and foremost for ensuring that people don't violate school rules, but a second function for them to serve would be to ensure that trays find their way to the appropriate location (whether by forcing students to take their dishes to the appropriate place or doing so themselves). In other words, this shouldn't have ever been an issue. But since it is apparently an issue, here's what the school should have done: issued progressive penalties to students who failed to return their trays and dishes. It should've started with a verbal warning from a monitor, progressing onward to detentions in as abundant an amount as would be needed to get the point across, with mandatory community service (such as assisting the school maintenance staff in non-hazardous labor such as pulling weeds) being a last resort. What they should not have done is decreased the quality of food or pulled preferred menu items. That makes no sense.


That sounds like an great idea, install cameras and monitors in school... Only problem being that it's illegal to have cameras in schools in Sweden. There was another school that installed cameras to hinder bullying but they had to remove them or pay damages since schools aren't allowed to have cameras. And the sad thing about that is that bullying increased in that school once they removed the cameras.
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