District 203 surveyed 1,716 parents in November and December of 2019 regarding the school lunch program. Of the parents surveyed, 72% were elementary school parents.
When asked to grade the school lunch quality, more than half of the parents gave it below a B grade, with 12% giving it an F and only 4% giving it an A.
Parents were most dissatisfied by the abundance of disposable items, the lack of variation, as well as the lack of organic and fresh ingredients in lunches. Most said balanced nutrition and unprocessed food should be most important in a school lunch.
The current school lunch contract is with Aramark, but a new contract will govern the 2020-2021 school year. It is unclear if the supplier will remain Aramark or switch to another service.
For the time remaining in this school year, Aramark addressed concerns from the serves by providing more vegetarian options, making the differences in processed and unprocessed food easily identifiable and adding more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. It is currently unclear how these will affect the overall quality of school lunches.