Everyone knows that school cafeteria lunches aren't always the best. For many schools, the goal is to come up with meals that can be made quickly and in large quantities. The emphasis isn't always necessarily on how healthy or filling the food is. Most parents probably aren't expecting their kids to be fed gourmet meals at school, but do want to ensure they're actually getting their money's worth. This is why when a particularly disgusting photo of school lunch from Minnesota went viral, parents were completely outraged, according to Today.
This particular school lunch was shared on Facebook by Maryn Holler, a student at Apollo High School in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The photo depicted her lunch tray, which contained a hot dog bun with a glob of melted cheese on it, a handful of baby carrots and, marinara sauce. In her caption, she pointed out that she'd paid $3 for the meal which likely cost only about 50 cents to make. She also commented upon the fact that for kids whose families might be struggling financially, that could very well be the only food they would get that day.
Those that saw the post shared her frustration.
"As someone who works for Nutrition Services in another school district in Minnesota, that is sad and I'm sorry you and other students had to pay for that. Obviously someone was not doing their job right and the students suffered for it. I hope by your post and justified concern that this problem will be solved and things will be better," one user commented.
As disheartening as the photo was, it is starting what is arguably a much-needed and much-overdue discussion about how underfunded cafeterias are and the struggles they face to piece together a healthy meal without going under the budget. This is notable because childhood obesity is such a huge problem in the United States, making it important that schools have the resources necessary to provide healthy meals for kids and get them started with healthy eating habits at a young age.
Holler's post gained so much transaction on social media that she later updated it to say that she'd been contacted by her school principal, who informed her that she'd been invited to have a meeting with the school district's nutritionist and perhaps help come up with ideas to provide more quality food options to kids.
St. Cloud Area School District responded to the criticism online.
"Tried a new menu item today at lunch and we hear it was not a winner! Going forward, we will gather input from our students on new menu options," they said.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, there have been recent studies that have shown links between unhealthy food and teenage depression. With the rise of mental health issues in America, it appears more important than ever that schools have the resources necessary to provide kids with food that fuels their bodies and minds.