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The future of DPS school food

  • Unbox is what we're calling all future-thinking projects in DPS school food. We're thinking outside the box. We're inviting students and staff to eat outside the lunchbox (and eat school meals instead). We're unboxing our minds and imagining what school food could be.

  • Explore how we're unboxing school food, and redesigning it from the ground up.

A Taste of Our History

  • Everyone remembers the lunch staff who saw them the way no one else in the school building did. Everyone remembers the lunch staff who produced another meal, no questions asked, when we dropped our lunch tray on the way to our seat. Everyone remembers the care and attention from their lunch staff, day in and day out, from kindergarten to 12th grade.


    And yet, students have such brief interactions with their lunch staff they don’t really know their stories. Who are they? Why did they do this job? What brings them joy? What are their toughest school lunch memories? Their happiest? What do they do on snow days?


    Without bringing light to these richer stories, lunch staff will continue to be treated as less-than-full school staff, with less-than-full salaries and benefits, and with less-than-full participation in the development, management, and improvement of school food programs.


    Our DPS youth food policy council team (Unbox) has been trained by the UNC Southern Oral History Program to conduct oral histories with our school lunch staff. This project will take years, gathering 100s of beautiful stories as we go.


    The vision: DPS high school students from the Unbox team will interview long-serving DPS lunch staff to learn about their personal stories and experiences. The stories will be transcribed, and may be paired with photos and/or video. These mixed-media stories will become part of an ongoing digital series accessible on the DPS website, elevating and celebrating the people who make school lunch possible.


    It's storytime...

Food History Student Food Art Squares