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Lunch Line: A Documentary Shines a Light on the National School Lunch Program

Lunch Line takes a look at the National School Lunch Program. The documentary examines the past, current, and future of this program.

It follows the story of six Chicago schoolchildren who develop a lunch of chicken jambalaya, corn bread, and vegetables that exceeds the current nutritional standards for school lunch. The meal costs less than one dollar per lunch to make in the cafeteria.

Interspersed with the kids’ story is the history of school lunch program, starting with its inception as an attempt to stave off malnutrition in vulnerable populations and continuing through the many changes it has undergone since then. The film examines the politics and the alliances that have formed and broken up over time.

One point the filmmakers emphasize is that the solution to improving school nutrition is not an easy one. It’s not as simple as β€œwhy don’t they just buy from local farmers?” They look at school food activists, such as Renegade Lunch Lady Ann Cooper, and how much they are accomplishing and note that the biggest challenge is expanding those programs to a national level.

Screenings are hosted by individuals or groups. A DVD is also available for purchase. Here’s the trailer for the film.

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