A documentary called “Lunch” takes a pretty dim view of the National School Lunch Program, which feeds about 30 million children. It quotes doctors, advocates, parents and teachers –- many of whom decry the fast-food style of food they see on lunch trays.
“Kids aren’t born with an innate desire for hamburgers,” says Margot Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C.
The documentary, made by Avis Richards, paints a frightening picture of childhood obesity and diseases related to food, before it offers some hope in the work being done to bring more produce and less processed food into cafeterias. The film gives credit in particular to the Baltimore school district, which has worked hard to reform its school meals program.
The film was made by Richards’ nonprofit media company, Birds Nest Productions; it toured some festivals this year and is scheduled to be shown in December at the Artivist festival, she said. And she is working with the Earth Day Network (Richards served on the Earth Day board) to turn the topic into aseries that premiered this month on New York City’s official television network. “Even the best private schools” fail to serve healthy lunches, Richards said in an interview. “Everybody needs education on this issue.”
Los Angeles Times Daily Dish Blog