In What’s for Lunch? I offer parents, teachers and kids lots of ideas for things they can do to help change school lunch and challenge the inequalities of the food system. Things like growing a garden, hosting a food festival and following a tomato or bean or eggplant from field to table. Here are a few more:
- Host a hunger banquet. (See my post about how we did it at a local school.) Invite your class to a meal, when they arrive they are divided into 3 income groups—high, middle and low. Their meal will reflect their economic status. Some will have plates heaped with food; others will have only rice and beans; some will have only rice. Invite a food activist to talk about the food system and provide context. Oxfam provides a whole kit on how to pull this off—and make it a fundraiser for hungry children around the world, as well.
- Do an experiment on your school food. Measure the calories, salt and fat in a typical meal. Collect all the garbage from one day and weigh it.
- There are companies that will actually buy your school garbage so they can recycle it. You have to package it all together and send it to them and they make cool stuff like bags and pencil cases from the materials. Check out Terracycle for details.
- Connect with other children at schools in other countries via the Internet. Ask them about what they eat, and the issues around food in their community. Discover the ways in which children at your school are connected to those around the world.
- Volunteer at a food bank, community garden or community kitchen. The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto is an innovative organization that combines all of these and more in a new kind of social service agency that is changing the way people in that city think about food. To find out more go to their web site.
- Fight to have junk food advertising removed from the places that matter to you—your school, on TV, in computer games, at your community centre, etc.