Lunch Ladies


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A century ago, cafeteria workers were on the front lines of providing school children the nutrition they needed to become better students, citizens and soldiers. Today, many are rewarded with poverty-level wages in return for reheating bagged burritos. Cristen and Caroline trace the history of lunch ladies as part of the nutrition, labor and Civil Rights movements.

Episode Sources:

"Why lunch ladies are heroes" https://www.ted.com/talks/jarrett_krosoczka_why_lunch_ladies_are_heroes?language=en

"The food system" http://www.realfoodrealjobs.org/the-food-system/"

"How it all began ... The history of the lunch lady" https://lwfsu123.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/how-it-all-began-the-history-of-the-lunch-lady-2/

"Food timeline FAQs: School Lunches" http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodschools.html

"An overlooked history" http://synapsemag.org/overlooked-history/

"Interview with Elizabeth Brooks" http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/E-0058/E-0058.html

"Interview with Ashley Davis" http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/E-0062/E-0062.html

"Lunchroom justice: Students push for cafeteria workers' rights" http://grist.org/food/lunchroom-justice-students-push-for-cafeteria-workers-rights/

"Revenge of the lunch ladies" http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/05/chicago-cafeteria-workers-strike-heroic-blow-decent-school-lunch"

"The lunchroom rebellion" http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/09/04/the-lunchroom-rebellion"

"Berkeley schools' Ann Cooper to take her lunch lessons to Colorado" http://www.sfgate.com/food/article/Berkeley-schools-Ann-Cooper-to-take-her-lunch-3253663.php

"Summertime, and the kids go hungry: The school lunch problem" http://www.aauw.org/2013/08/06/school-lunch-problem/

"'We're not paid enough': Cafeteria workers at Walt Disney World say they want a union" http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/19134/were_not_paid_enough_cafeteria_workers_at_walt_disney_world_say_they_want_a

"Cafeteria workers go on hunger strike at U of T" http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/cafeteria-workers-go-on-hunger-strike-at-u-of-t-2133128.htm

"Senate cafeteria workers owed $1 million in back pay, Labor Department says" http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/07/26/senate-cafeteria-workers-owed-1-million-in-back-pay-labor-department-says.html

Academic Insights:

"Glee and New Directions for Social Change." Brian C. Johnson and Daniel K. Faill. Springer. 2015. https://books.google.com/books?id=Xp_dBgAAQBAJ&dq=cafeteria+worker+stereotype&source=gbs_navlinks_s

"Labor standards for school cafeteria workers, turnover and public program utilization." Ken Jacobs and Dave Graham-Squire. Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law. Vol. 31, Iss. 2. September 2010. http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1428&context=bjell