By The Takeaway | Published September 15, 2022
Listen to the full episode here, or on your favorite podcast platform by searching for “The Takeaway.”
During the pandemic, the federal government granted schools lunch waivers which allowed them to provide free school lunch to every student, regardless of income. This meant families could access “to-go” lunch pick-ups or meal deliveries by bus. These waivers continued in 2021, but Republicans blocked further extension for the start of this school year.
As we continue our back-to-school, School Principles, series we speak with:
Jennifer Gaddis, associate professor of Civil Society and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need Real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools, about seeing school lunch and nutrition as part of education, the history of school lunch, and how school lunch policy should change.
Then, we hear from Monifa Bandele, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at MomsRising, about how the history and legacy of The Black Panthers’ own free school meal program, and the importance of equitable food access in schools for all kids.
Then we hear from a current New York City high schooler, Savannah, who has done work with Teen Justice For Food and shares her own experience with school lunch, and how it could be improved. And we hear from listeners, who reflect on their memories of school lunch and share how it differs from the lunch at their children’s schools.
Produced by Ryan Andrew Wilde and Mary Steffenhagen
Hosted by Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry
Produced by GBH, PRX and WNYC Studios
Visit the permanent webpage for the segment here.