Philadelphia students campaign for healthier lunch options

Students at schools that receive pre-plated meal options are asking for a new vendor.

PHILADELPHIA—Philadelphia students are campaigning to dump the company that provides many of the city’s public schools with frozen, pre-plated lunches, contending that the food provided by Maramont, a subsidiary of Illinois-based Preferred Meal Systems, Inc., tastes bad and is bad for their health.

The contract, which has been awarded solely to Maramont for the past decade, includes pre-plated lunches, breakfasts and after-school meals. It will expire in July, and the District has issued a Request for Proposals that has attracted bids from two rival food-service companies. Youth United for Change (YUC) student activists, who worked with the District to rewrite the RFP, say that providing better food is a simple thing that cash-strapped public schools can do to improve student health and learning.   

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