Stop Feeding Prison Food to Schoolchildren

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Target: Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Forrest Claypool
Goal: Stop feeding prison food to public school students.

Students in Chicago are comparing their daily lunch glop to prison food. That might sound like a grand exaggeration, but the supplier of the school’s food, Aramark, also services the nearby Cook County prison, according to the students.

“Lunch time is the time where you eat and enjoy your free time,” the website reads. “It’s supposed to be the place where students get the best healthy lunches like salads, sandwiches, fresh fruits, etc. Instead they give some gross, unhealthy food.”

As the kids say their entrée options are usually limited to pizza or burgers, TeachKind, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ humane education division, offered up its services to the school. PETA offered to help the school develop more nutritious options and to kick it off with a free vegan meal for the entire school.

Tim Meegan, a social studies teacher at Roosevelt who supports the student-led effort, told the Chicago Tribune that the students were excited about PETA’s offer but the administration didn’t go for it.

“Accepting this offer would jeopardize our federal nutrition funding,” Emily Bittner, Chicago Public Schools’ communication director, told the Tribune.

Forcing students to eat foods regularly fed to prisoners is unconscionable and must be fixed.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Forrest Claypool,

Low income students in your public schools are being forced to eat food regularly fed to prisoners. Often there is no non-meat option and the food choices are limited and unhealthy.

According to Emily Bittner, Chicago Public Schools’ communication director, food choices outside of the normal contract process “would jeopardize our federal nutrition funding.”

It is a travesty that we are placing bureaucratic rules ahead of the nutritional health of our public school children, many of whom cannot afford to buy food from outside sources.

For the sake of the children, please consider allowing more healthy food choices in your school system.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

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