Got your Jersey school lunch right here (Opinion)
New Jersey lawmakers are trying to come up with a better school lunch menu. The purpose is to get more nutritional meals in front of the children.
"One thing that we lose sight of in all this is that we are the Garden State, and we should be doing better as far as connecting our school lunch trays to the farm-rich industry that we have here," state Senator Teresa Ruiz, D-Mercer, chair of the committee said.
That sounds great in theory, but as the father of two 13-year-old boys who have been eating school lunches since they started their education, I can tell you, that they're not going to eat it. I've taken many calls from cafeteria workers who say the veggies usually end up in the garbage. That's sad because there are hungry people in New Jersey who would love to have it.
"The current administration now seems to feel that you can provide students with pizza and burgers and fries, and that will save money," said state. Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer. "I think we need to keep the fruits and vegetables in the school lunch program."
I don't think pizza, burgers, and fries is about saving money as much as it is about what kids like to eat. Would you rather they eat that or nothing at all? Many kids won't eat what they don't like, hungry or not. What they need to do is come up with lunches that are both nutritional as well as desirable by the kids. I like the Subway concept where you combine meats and cheeses on fresh bread with a choice of vegetables.
So in an attempt to help with this dilemma, I asked what your favorite school lunch was growing up. Perhaps we can learn from the "old school."
Brett S. Harrison: "Pizza. Hands down."
Cindy Zwicker: "Mac and cheese and tomato soup."
Rich Trevelise: "Tator Tots!"
Hershel Horn: "Sloppy Joes."
Chrissy Biglin Harris: "Grilled cheese."
Vicky Jones: "Matawan High School oatmeal cookies."
Robert Pisani: "Holy rosary meatball sandwiches."
Donna D'Antonio: "Hull Hot cheese sandwich 😋 It was on a kaiser roll, completely different than a grilled cheese."
Tom Strauss: "Neptune - “Whirlybirds”: Pork Roll and Cheese Sandwiches."
Frank Thomas Dell'Orto: "There used to be this mystery meat contraption - I think our school cafeterias called it “Chuck Wagon” - kind of a dense burger thing with a translucent grayish-brown gravy. Many scoffed at it, but I rather enjoyed it. There were also these little peanut butter (!) squares ... absolutely delectable."
Paul Venier: "Believe it or not, my school had the best peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Nothing has come close since, not even my own."
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