Students are boycotting school lunch they say is 'worse than prison food'

Serving Unhealthy School Lunches A Win For Big Companies

Teens at Roosevelt High School in Chicago are not too happy with their school lunches. In fact, they are taking drastic measures to show their administrators they'd like a change — with a boycott.

SEE ALSO: Attention health nuts — you've been eating your avocados all wrong

Starting Wednesday, Dec. 2, students at Roosevelt High are reportedly boycotting their school's lunch, in an effort they've named "The School Lunch Project: Culinary Denial."

Apparently the school lunches at Chicago Public Schools are "disgusting." They're so unappetizing that some students at Roosevelt High School have launched an online campaign to fix that.

Posted by Chicagoist on Monday, November 30, 2015

The student body, which consists of over 1,400 students, has complaints of "rotten pears, burned pizza, and fat-filled chicken patties and burgers."

On the website devoted to the protest, students write: "Today, our lunch at Roosevelt is no better than the ones in Cook County prison. In fact, Aramark is the food service provider for both institutions."

The students MoveOn Petition states: "This is important because we eat 1/6th of our meals here annually, and many students refuse to eat it. By signing this petition, we demand that school lunches get better. "

In a statement released to the public, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) wrote that "the health and wellness of our students is among our top priorities, and we will look into the students' questions about their meals."

Here are some tasty options for school lunches:

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Students are boycotting school lunch they say is 'worse than prison food'

Lentil Tacos

Tacos are a crowd favorite because of the endless possibilities of fresh veggies and toppings that can be added - olives, tomatoes, avocado, greens, caramelized onions and peppers, etc. Tacos make it super easy to eat the rainbow in one sitting.

Photo Credit: Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes

Cheesy Ranch Broccoli Chicken Burritos

This is the perfect easy lunch or dinner for the busy days. You can even freeze them and eat them later!

Photo Credit: The Cookie Rookie 

Chicken Avocado Pitas

These Chicken Avocado Pitas can be whipped up in a jiff, served hot or cold, and will satisfy even the pickiest crowd. I love the bright colors of the cherry tomatoes and fresh avocado. Made extra creamy with greek yogurt sauce, you don’t need to feel guilty for enjoying this so much. Healthy meets delicious!

Photo Credit: The Cookie Rookie

Chicken & Broccoli Lunch Bowl 

There are so many reasons to love this recipe. It takes 10 minutes to make, start to finish. It serves 4 and each serving has a serving of veggies and lean protein to help keep you fueled for your day.

Photo Credit: An Edible Mosaic

Greek Salad Bowls with Spiced Lamb Burgers

You can add a grain to the bowl if you like (brown rice or quinoa would be yummy). For a paleo version, omit the feta and yogurt-based dressing and use your favorite paleo salad dressing (or oil/vinegar combo) instead. 

Photo Credit: An Edible Mosaic

Mushroom Triple Cheese Grilled Cheese

There’s really nothing better for lunch than this crunchy and melty Mushroom Triple Cheese Grilled Cheese recipe! With such a quick assembly you’ll be digging in in no time!

Photo Credit: Savory Nothings 

Veggie Spring Rolls

All of these fruits and veggies are sure to give your child the energy boost they need to make it through the second half of their day at school.

Photo Credit: Beard & Bonnet

Watermelon, Berry, & Basil Salad

Those toasty almonds add the perfect contrast of texture to the marinated fruit and those ribbons of fresh shredded basil perfectly accent the subtle sweetness of the berries.

Photo Credit: Beard & Bonnet

Sushi Sandwiches

These ‘Sushi Sandwiches’ hold little bites of crispy cucumber and carrots that add nutrition and texture. They couldn’t be easier to make.

Photo Credit: Dinner Reinvented

Open Face Buffalo Chicken Subs with Ranch Slaw

Everyone knows a good sandwich starts with the bread, and this is particularly true when you decide to go the open-face route. You want something light and fluffy, but it needs to be hearty enough to stand-up to all the badass toppings.

Photo Credit: Domesticate Me 

Lemon-Dijon Chicken Salad with Pomegranate and Toasted Almonds

A serious departure from your standard mayonnaise-heavy chicken salad, this mustard-based version is bright, fresh and fabulously light.

Photo Credit: Domesticate Me 

Crunchy Green Cheese Melts

This recipe is tasty, crunchy, healthy and fast to pull together in the middle of a busy day.

Photo Credit: Eat Drink Garden 

Roasted Eggplant Couscous Salad

This Mediterranean flavored, Roasted Eggplant Couscous Salad is great for a quick and healthy lunch or works great as a side for any summer picnic or barbecue.

Photo Credit: Erren's KItchen 

Lean Green Portobello, Pesto & Artichoke Panini

The portabello acts as the meaty base, with a spread of homemade hemp seed basil pesto and topped with artichoke hearts, onions, and creamy avocado. It's got a ton of flavor and makes a great lunch, plus takes just a few to whip up.

Photo Credit: Fettle Vegan 

Froggy Sandwiches

This simple sandwich is all about building a froggy on top of what your little one already loves, be it peanut butter and jelly, hummus and veggies, or whatever lunch meat they might like.

Photo Credit: Fork and Beans

Dairy Free Mac N Cheese

Switch up the types of veggies you add to this Dairy Free Mac N Cheese recipe to introduce your little ones to new greens. Try peas, kale, or even spinach in place of broccoli for a nutrient-dense lunch option.

Photo Credit: Fork and Beans 


Making your meals fun doesn’t have to require a lot of work. Sometimes it’s not about cutting your entree into the shape of whatever you want to create but rather taking what it is and working with it from there.

Photo Credit: Fork and Beans 

Three Cheese Caprese Pizza

Not only is this pizza freaking bomb because it has super fresh tomatoes and that sweet balsamic glaze, but it’s got THREE kinds of cheese! Fresh Mozzarella, Asiago, and Parmesan… the more cheese the better!

Photo Credit: Garnish and Glaze 


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