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Albany Park Students Plan Boycott Of School Lunches

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Fed up with meals they found disgusting, students at an Albany Park neighborhood high school have organized a boycott of school lunches on Monday.

Students at Roosevelt High School said they're sick of the food provided by Aramark, the company hired by Chicago Public Schools to serve food at its schools.

Roosevelt civics teacher Tim Meegan said not even the staff will eat the food.

"Nobody; even my principal's kids don't eat it," he said.


Monday's boycott began with a civics project to work on improving school lunches.

"The students found that, if they boycotted lunch, that Aramark wouldn't get paid, and they saw that as a means of forcing the company and Chicago Public Schools to provide higher quality food," Meegan said.

He estimated 80 percent of the 1,100 students at Roosevelt will take part in the boycott, and expect to begin negotiating with CPS on Tuesday.

Students at Roosevelt also set up a website "The School Lunch Project: Culinary Denial," detailing what's wrong with the food they are served, and proposing possible solutions.

Meegan said the boycott might spread to other schools, but it's still just a civics project his students are doing for class.

"There's a host of things that kids are learning, in terms of how difficult it is to pull people together under one cause, the level of organization it takes, how to use the media to get your message out," he said.

He also said students are learning about "underhanded tactics."

"On Friday, we found that Aramark had shipped in premium produce for the lunch line, in order to try and dissuade kids from boycotting," Meegan said.

CPS could not be reached for comment.

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