July 2014

Lunch Lines

In light of all the recent controversy surrounding Michelle Obama’s school lunch initiative, students at a public high school in Detroit provide commentary on a week of school lunches in June.



Pictured: BBQ chicken burger, mixed fruit cup, and bottle of water.

"It's prison food."

"Plain. Over-processed."

"I just, I just can't eat it! I don't know what it is."

"I ate one once before. It tastes rubbery."

"It makes no sense. It's a rubbery chicken patty that tastes so dry, and they put the little sesame sauce on it just so it can taste a little bit moist. Bread's just dry, and they give you this small little portion of water like it's gonna quench your thirst?"


Pictured: Philly cheese steak, macaroni and cheese, side salad with Italian dressing, pear, and chocolate milk.

“That sub looks like cat food.”

“That’s macaroni and cheese? I thought it was mashed potatoes.”

“The shit looks nasty.”

“[The pear and the salad] are okay. It’s just sometimes, after a few days, the pears are sometimes reused, I guess, and they get old and nasty.”

“One time, I had spoiled milk. Do you know how horrible that was? To open a milk and take a big gulp of some chunky boo-boo? [Student makes dramatic coughing sounds.] Terrible. The worst experience of my life.”

“It don’t bother me ‘cause I don’t eat school lunch.”


Pictured: Meatballs, whole wheat bun, pineapple cup, and bottle of water.

“You make a sandwich with it.”

“It’s straight, cuz. I mean, it don’t look appetizing, but I’m hungry.”

“It’s okay. It tastes like ketchup on meat. You know how they got that meatloaf and, like, ketchup on it? That’s what it taste like.”

“This meatball, you gotta try it.”

Conversation between two students: 
“I want [the fruit cup].” 
“No, no.” 
“Juan*, please!” 
“You can have some. I like it. Am I gonna eat it? Hell yeah.”


Pictured: Sub, pepperoni pizza, watermelon cup, and bottle of water.

“I have a sub — it got a lot of stuff on it: meat, tomatoes, and some banana peppers, and some meat. And I got me some fruit, which is watermelon. Then I got me some pizza, which has got a lot of cheese on it and pepperonis and sauce — it’s really not good for you, but it’s good. And I got some water. Water is really good for you — H2O.”

“I’m eating some watermelon. It’s healthy. Your body is supposed to have fruit and vegetables in it for it to be all, for it to be all — moving and stuff.”

“Oh, the sub? Don’t let me get started. The sub is real good. When you put ranch and stuff on it, and you, like, put it like you want it to be — the taste and stuff? It’s real good. And the pizza, it tastes real nice. Even though it’s not, like, from Happy’s or Little Caesars or anything. But it’s nice.”

“[The pizza] is okay. I just like the crust. The pizza ain’t all that good to me.”



Pictured: Salad, Italian dressing, peaches, and bottle of water.

“They just gave it to me. This is the only time I ate this food. I don’t be eatin’ that. It’s nasty.”

“I like peaches, they’re good. They’re healthy too.”

“The salad’s just good, just good. I’m hungry. They don’t got no real food. I’m just hungry.”

*Student's name has been changed.

<<back to issue iv                                                                           POST A COMMENT >>