Students at Chicago’s Roosevelt High School have begun boycotting Aramark, the international foodservice provider that services the district, Chicago Public Schools.
Among its clients, Aramark services educational facilities, businesses, correctional facilities, and several major sports arenas — including Citi Field, the Rogers Centre, and Quicken Loans Arena.
In an online petition calling for improved school lunches, Roosevelt students argue that Aramark’s “options are too few, the portions are too small, the food tastes bad, and it is unhealthy. We believe decent food is a human right,” the petition states. A federal subsidy program enables the majority of students to get school lunch for free, but “that food is disgusting,” one student told WBEZ.
A blog launched by Roosevelt students, “the School Lunch Project,” documents the meals available to students and calls for school officials to demand better options for the district.
At the very least, students say, they should be given the option to leave campus for lunch if Aramark cannot provide better and more nutritious lunches. Many of the options currently available, like pizza and cheeseburgers, are essentially fast food items.
Meanwhile, Aramark has confirmed that it is aware of the petition against its current meal options, and is “looking into it with CPS and the principal.”