Nettelshort screens Lunch Line movie

February 14, 2011 at 3:49 am 7 comments

For those interested in a school lunch food revolution:

The Nettelhorst Community Group is hosting a movie and discussion on school nutrition on Thursday, February 17, 2011, 7:00 p.m., in the Nettelhorst Auditorium, 3252 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657.
The event will start with a screening of the documentary Lunch Line.  Lunch Line reframes the debate over school nutrition through an examination of the school lunch program’s surprising past, uncertain present, and possible future. Following the 65-minute film we will  discuss the future of nutrition in Chicago Public Schools with the film’s directors and a panel of experts.
The movie will be shown next Thursday, February 17, 2011, 7:00 p.m., in the Nettelhorst Auditorium.
You can get more information on the event and see a trailer from the movie here:
Tickets are $5 online and $7 at the door. They can be purchased here:
For more information email or call (312) 945-6190 for more information.

FYI, Representatives from Chartwells­Thompson Hospitality have agreed to attend the movie screening next week.  Chartwells is the vendor that provides food for all of CPS and Robert Bloomer, the Regional Vice President who handles the CPS contract for the company, will appear on the panel.

From Nettelhorst rep:  The obvious issue to discuss since Chartwells will be at the table is the universal breakfast policy.  We will address it in the panel discussion and include questions from the audience.  But we see that conversation as an extension of the discussion of the film.  We could spend all evening talking about the breakfast policy but our goal is to include it in a larger conversation about the forces that shape what kids eat at school.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. magnet mom  |  February 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    My kids have really noticed the changes in the school menus this year. They have commented that more of the vegetables look like vegetables and they think they saw hummus. Chartwells seemed to know that they had to change so good for them to actually send a VP to the screening at Nettlehorst.
    Perspectives Charter and some others have taken their cafeterias off of the Chartwells contract. It’s possible fora school to become their own contractor and provide their own meal plan and stay within the federal school lunch program. It’s kind of tricky and involves being able to train the lunch staff to actually cook the meals. Does anyone know if people from the schools that have opted out of the Chartwells contract will be at the screening??

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  February 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    For anyone not familiar with lunches in CPS, unlike in the “good old days” when school cafeterias would cook up some food and serve if on big plastic trays, many CPS schools do not have kitchen facilities, so the food is brought in pre-prepared and heated at the school.

    I have fond memories of good school lunches. Granted, not everything was tasty, but there was plenty of good, heary, fatty fare that hit the spot in the middle of the school day and kept my energy level up for the rest of the day.

    I have little familiarly with current school lunches, as my son has never bought lunch one day in his 2.5 years. I’ve made him a lunch every freakin’ day. But those pre-made, reheated lunches just turn me off. The smell reminds me of hospital food or airplane food – that smell of the reheating is just so gross to me. My son thinks the hot dogs and pizza look unappetizing.

    At our neighborhood school, when I was on the LSC we asked about getting a more “real” kitchen, but the cost of one of those huge dishwashers is astronomical and out of the budget. Plus you need to hire more workers to run a real kitchen.

    The few times I glance at the menus, they seem to be getting a bit healther. There’s always a vegetarian option, which is nice. But I applaud any parents who are putting their energy into improving the food.

    One thing I will add, is that I don’t know that “healthiest” is always the way to go. I worked in after-school tutoring for a while and the kids got an apple or orange every day. I’d say 80% of the (probably 95% of oranges, which need peeling) ended up in the trash. I think the dllemma lies in getting kids to eat heathier but giving them things they enjoy as well.

  • 3. ChicagoGawker  |  February 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Cps obssessed-You’ve made lunch EVERY day for the past 2.5 years? You must be exhausted, like me. I HATE packing lunch. I’ve run out of packed lunch ideas. We give them a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, agonize over their education, and then we’re expected to PACK LUNCH in addition to it all????

  • 4. RL Julia  |  February 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I have found that if fruit is involved inless the child is a real fruit eater, it has to be cut up (and never turn brown) to be eaten. As someone involved with the summer food nutrition program (which runs when school is out for kids who want/need lunch), I can assure you that the nutritional restrictions of the meals combined with the super-low reimbursement rate are crazy-making! At least they make me crazy – check it out:

    For instance – most “normal” bread equals two servings of bread but since open faced sandwiches don’t travel well, and kids don’t want to eat them, meal providers usually will use the squishy type of bread (that has more air in it) in order to provide the correct serving amounts. The other challenge is that this guideline is used for all children ages 1 to 18. Obviously the lunches are way too much for a toddler but seriously not enough for a 14 year old.

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  February 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I can’t even verbalize how much I hate making lunch. I am filled with joy during Xmas and spring break because I don’t have to make the lunch.
    As a note, I ate the same lunch every day for about 6 years – Peanut butter sandwich (no jelly), potato chips, thermos of water.
    My son has a similarly limited palate so it’s not all that challenging. None of these cute little bento boxes for him.

  • 6. cps Mom  |  February 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Our school had a salad bar!! The kids were allowed to pick 2 things (making it seem more ” in demand” but really for portion control). My son thought it was a major coup when he got cucumbers. Can’t this type of option be easily implemented at most schools?

  • 7. adad  |  February 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    They offer salad at my child’s school but it’s already drenched in Ranch or Caesar dressing, which he hates. Also, he told me their applesauce is disgusting and watery. Usually he loves both things. Occasionally they offer whole apples, but when you’re missing your front teeth, and they don’t allow knives in the cafeteria, it’s kinda tough to eat them!

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