While the blog was devoted exclusively to the LFTB issue, San Francisco school food reformer Dana Woldow (creator of the immensely useful school food reform how-to site, PEACHSF.org) wrote two important articles in Beyond Chron about an issue often discussed here on TLT: social stigma in the school cafeteria.
As I first wrote in “A La Carte – A World Apart?” and elaborated on in subsequent posts (e.g.,”A Follow-Up to the Infamous ‘Cheetos-and-Nach0-Sauce’ Photo“), the shame of being seen in line for the federally reimbursable meal can prevent economically disadvantaged children from eating lunch, a problem that’s exacerbated when when attractive, for-cash-only, snack-bar items are also made available by schools in so-called “a la carte” lines. (In my district, even cell phones and Facebook are sometimes used to bully kids in the “uncool” line.)
Late last month, Dana looked at stigma from a slightly different angle, as it relates to candy-and-soda-filled food trucks being allowed to come close to school campuses in her district of San Francisco. Dana fought hard for an existing ordinance that keeps these trucks within 1,500 feet from schools and is now opposing proposed legislation to water down this restriction. More recently she wrote a follow-up piece examining ways in which stigma in school cafeterias might be reduced, including by enlisting the aid of “upstanders,” or students who choose to act rather than watch passively when they witness bullying.
Both are well worth a read.
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