Petition Closed

Students at Chicago public school Little Village Academy aren't allowed to bring a lunch from home without a medical reason. Seem a little extreme? Elsa Carmona, the school's principal, insists that this is the only way for kids to get a healthy lunch--by eating the food at the school's cafeteria, or going hungry. That means that students who aren't eligible for free or reduced lunch are forced to pay for cafeteria food, likely at a higher price than what it costs to pack a lunch. We all applaud steps to increase nutrition during school lunch, but parents should have the right to pack something healthy for their kids. It seems like the real winner here is the company providing the school's food service.


Photo: Stevendepolo via Flickr

Letter to
Principal, Little Village Academy Elsa Carmona
Communications Officer, Chicago Public Schools Monique Bond
While I applaud all efforts to increase nutrition in cafeteria lunches, not allowing children to bring a lunch is too extreme a measure, and I don't feel that it should be touted as the only way for students to get a healthy meal at school. It's very easy to pack a nutritious bag lunch, likely at a lower price than what it costs for families to buy a cafeteria lunch for their children at Little Village Academy.

It's very likely that many students who don't like the school lunch are choosing not to eat most of it, which leaves kids having go through the school day hungry and distracted. Many parents would prefer to pack their kids a healthy lunch that they know the children will actually eat. Providing children with lunch should be a parental decision, not one made by the school principal.

The real winner here seems to be Chartwells-Thompson, the school's food provider. Let's put children and their health first. Please allow students to bring their own healthy lunches to school.