Lunch Wars



We have an epidemic in this country. From children going hungry to childhood obesity, there is one program that can make a huge difference and that is the school lunch program. Lunch Wars by Amy Kalafa is a comprehensive reference for parents, educators, and other concerned citizens who know we have a problem but are unsure how we can fix it. The book was inspired by the movie that Amy produced and directed called Two Angry Moms. Her journey begins with Amy, on assignment for Martha Stewart Living Magazine, interviewing chef Ann Cooper who was running the Ross Schools wellness program in Long Island. She knew then that she would be back to do a documentary on school food.

Lunch Wars reads like a manifesto for school food activists. The information ranges from government policies from the USDA and the historical place the school lunch program has to combating hunger, to how the government subsidies free or reduced lunches. It is peppered with stories of real activists that were able to make changes in their communities whether through community gardens, eliminating vending and snack foods, or serving meals family style to reduce waste and encourage a communal atmosphere. These stories are very inspirational and you can see the various ways people are able to get real food into schools, even while maintaining a profitable lunch program.

I particularly liked the chapter on working with farmers to get local produce into schools. It helps the local community, it is good for the environment, and nothing is fresher than farm to table. This book is great for a group who knows we have a crisis but does not know where to start. Lunch Wars can be their blueprint.

Please join me over at BlogHer to discuss Lunch Wars.

This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Do you think we need a school food revolution?

What are your memories of school lunch?

5 thoughts on “Lunch Wars

  1. I work in a elementary school and they have been trying to make healthier lunches but I’d say 80% are not. Almost daily they have chicken, chicken nuggets, chicken rings, chicken sandwich. I’ve noticed alot of children bringing their own lunches. Moms are packing good stuff for their kids!!
    sharon recently posted..Chest and Back P90XMy Profile

    • It is great to see that kids are bringing in healthier lunches. What I never thought about much before, but is a focus of the book, is the children who’s lunch/breakfast at school may be the only food they eat. These children deserve to eat healthy, wholesome food too.
      Dina recently posted..Lunch WarsMy Profile

  2. I never, ever bought school lunch. At one time I’d get the free and reduced breakfast for the pastries (hah!), but I always brown bagged it for lunch. I can’t remember what I’d eat, probably a sandwich and yogurt or something and some water. I’d also get out at 2 and go straight to work, usually at a restaurant, so some days I would just bring snacks until work. School lunches were always the same: pizza, nuggets, pasta, tacos. Rarely was there anything else. Oh and hot dogs. So yes, we could use a better menu for the bright minds of the future.
    Katherina @ Zephyr Runs recently posted..Walking to the StoreMy Profile

    • I never really bought lunch either but even as a a kid, I knew the school lunch wasn’t healthy. I am lucky to have a Mom who is a really great cook and cooked mostly from scratch, so I never got much of a taste for fake foods.
      Dina recently posted..Gratitude Birthday StyleMy Profile

  3. Pingback: Childhood Obesity And Food Insecurity: What You Can Do To Help | | Dina RunsDina Runs

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