School Lunch and Student Food Insecurity: A Teacher’s Observations and Reflections
- 328 Downloads
In this chapter, we take a food justice approach: we consider access to high-quality, nutritious, tasty, and culturally sustaining food in schools as a right for all students. To assist this effort, educators must turn a critical lens on how our most vulnerable student populations are being affected by low-quality school food. This work arises from a veteran teacher’s observations about how school lunch at the alternative high school where she works can perpetuate food insecurity for already food-insecure students. As part of this work, we raise questions about what it means to ethically feed food-insecure students in schools. Based on our work together, we introduce the concept of “in-school food insecurity” to highlight the complexities around feeding students, arguing that giving food of marginal quality to those who are food-insecure is not an adequate response. We also provide evidence that teachers can make valuable observations and contributions in the fight to improve school food.
- Alkon, A. H., & Agyeman, J. (Eds.). (2011). Cultivating food justice: Race, class, and sustainability. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Bell, D., & Valentine, G. (1997). Consuming geographies: We are where we eat. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Caplan, P. (1997). Approaches to the study of food, health and identity. In P. Caplan (Ed.), Food, health and identity (pp. 1–31). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Eng, M. (2015, November 30). Chicago high schoolers launch website against school food. WBEZ 91.5 Chicago News. https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/chicago-high-schoolers-launch-website-against-school-food/eafe13ae-882d-472f-9da9-0bd876778137. Accessed 4/5/17.
- Greene, C. P., & Cramer, J. M. (2011). Beyond mere sustenance: Food as communication/communication as food. In J. M. Cramer, C. P. Greene, & L. M. Walters (Eds.), Food as communication, communication as food (pp. iv–xix). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.Google Scholar
- Jalonick, M. (2017, May 1). Trump administration to cut some school lunch standards. US News and World Reports. Accessed from: https://www.usnews.com/news/news/articles/2017-05-01/agriculture-to-roll-back-some-standards-on-school-meals
- Kitchens without cooks: A future of frozen food for Chicago’s schoolchildren? (n.d.). A report by Unite Here & Let’s Cook organizations. http://www.realfoodrealjobs.org/wp-content/uploads/UNITE-HERE-Kitchens-Without-Cooks-_-FINAL.pdf. Accessed 4/5/17.
- Perkins, T. (2016, February 4). How Chicago students are fighting disgusting school lunches. Vice. https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/how-chicago-students-are-fighting-disgusting-school-lunches. Accessed 4/5/17.
- Poppendieck, J. (2010). Free for all: Fixing school food in America. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Robert, S., & Weaver-Hightower, M. (2011a). Introduction. In S. Robert & M. Weaver-Hightower (Eds.), School food politics (pp. 201–208). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
- Robert, S., & Weaver-Hightower, M. (2011b). Coda: Healthier horizons. In S. Robert & M. Weaver-Hightower (Eds.), School food politics (pp. 201–208). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
- Sandler, J. (2011). Reframing the politics of urban feeding in the U.S. public schools: Parents, programs, activists, and the state. In S. Robert & M. Weaver-Hightower (Eds.), School food politics (pp. 25–45). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
- Stapleton, S. R. (2015a). Teacher participatory action research on food insecurity, food and culture, and school gardens within a low-income urban school district (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Michigan State University.Google Scholar
- Stapleton, S. R. (2015b). Food, identity, & environmental education. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 20, 12–24.Google Scholar
- Stapleton, S. R., Alvarado, T., Cole, P., Jason, M., & Washburn, M. (2017). Views from the classroom: Teachers on food in a low-income urban school district. In I. Werkheiser & Z. Piso (Eds.), Food justice in US and global contexts: Bringing theory and practice together (pp. 129–140). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- USDA Economic Research Service. (2016, October 11). Key statistics and graphics. Accessed from: https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/key-statistics-graphics.aspx
- Zoukis, C. (2015, Dec 2). Aramark’s correctional food services: Meals, maggots, and misconduct. Prison Legal News. https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2015/dec/2/aramarks-correctional-food-services-meals-maggots-and-misconduct/. Accessed 4/5/17.