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School Lunch Picture Of Sandwich Goes Viral

| by David Bonner

They don't make them like this in New Orleans.

When students at Lancaster County High School in Pennsylvania were served a "popcorn chicken po'boy" for their school lunch, what they got were a few dry chicken nuggets inside a hot dog bun. Student Todd Rates snapped a picture of it and posted it on Reddit.

The po'boy sandwich was reportedly invented in 1929 by the owners of the Martin Bros restaurant in New Orleans. "The po-boy was created during the transit strike, when 1,800 unionized streetcar drivers and motormen left their jobs and protested in the streets," notes The Times-Picayune. "Spending months on the picket line with no pay, the Martin brothers vowed to serve the strikers free of charge, and they concocted a hearty meat sandwich, on a new thinner and crispy bread, which was easier to cut into equal slices."

The po'boys served at Lancaster County High School are provided by Aramark Correctional Services, notes the Daily Mail. "Aramark serves nearly 370 million meals on a yearly basis to more than 2 million children," notes the corporate website, which credits the company with "providing students with healthy food they love ... With over sixty years of school nutrition experience, we deliver an enjoyable, healthy dining environment for your students."

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The site goes on to explain: "We hold taste-testing and sampling events for students, faculty and parents to determine and introduce new menu items. This helps us understand what works best for your district, while providing a 'first-hand experience' with your food service program to encourage parent and community support."

In 2012, former first lady Michelle Obama and former U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled new standards for school meals.

The USDA explained the new standards in a press release at the time:

The new meal requirements will raise standards for the first time in more than fifteen years and improve the health and nutrition of nearly 32 million kids that participate in school meal programs every school day. The healthier meal requirements are a key component of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was championed by the First Lady as part of her Let’s Move! campaign and signed into law by President [Barack] Obama.

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The former first lady gave her own statement on the changes:

As parents, we try to prepare decent meals, limit how much junk food our kids eat, and ensure they have a reasonably balanced diet. And when we’re putting in all that effort, the last thing we want is for our hard work to be undone each day in the school cafeteria. When we send our kids to school, we expect that they won’t be eating the kind of fatty, salty, sugary foods that we try to keep them from eating at home. We want the food they get at school to be the same kind of food we would serve at our own kitchen tables.

Sources: Daily Mail, The Times-Picayune, Aramark, USDA / Photo credit: OneHotCoffee/Reddit via Daily Mail

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