Evidence that the Boycott had a big Impact. Photo Credit: Eduardo Rodriguez
On December 8th 2015, Roosevelt students got to meet with Aramark and the director of nutrition support services, Leslie Fowler. It started off okay everyone was talking and trying to get their point across. But the meeting was not set up for negotiating. Leslie Fowler was standing up front by the stage in the auditorium. the students sat in the front row facing her, and the CPS and Aramark people sat behind us.
The students first started off with the demand that they want more options, bigger portions, and better quality. They told Leslie Fowler how nasty the lunches are and the quality,and the small portions. We get the same options everyday now we want change.
The students think they started good and ended bad because Leslie Fowler started talking out of anger in a calm manner. She told us, “all of your problems should be told to the lunch ladies at your school”, basically saying our lunch ladies make our food so it’s their fault. She only wanted to address food preparation issues, not address the quality of the ingredients in the food.
We feel Ms. Fowler never cared for us just by her tone, and the way she was talking to us, cutting us off, the Aramark people, and our teacher. She tried to sweet talk us by saying 5 members from our team can help her out with the menus and give our opinion on new lunches by taste testing them. But she said it would be 3 months until they were actually served. Problem is our school did the same thing last year and nothing changed.
She also wanted us to audit our lunch ladies. Our classes voted to reject that proposal because we don’t want to get them in trouble plus Aramark should audit their own stuff.
She also said that the lunches were free, they did not come out of our taxes because they were paid for by tarriffs on imports. Our teacher said it’s the same thing because the cost of tarriffs is passed on to whoever buys the product. We looked it up and asked around and found this out:
“The funding for the USDA child nutrition programs, which include breakfast, school lunch, summer, WIC, the Child and Adult Food Program, comes from yearly Congressional appropriations. That means our programs are funded by general revenue from the taxpayers.Each year the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committees work together to come up with a bill that provides funding for the FNS programs.”
We are not asking for too much just-
Meantime we are planning a citywide boycott on Thursday, December 17th to show them we mean business. All students should participate!
By Terreon Williams and Natesha Clark