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Green Bag Lunch Program Greening up North Shore Lunches

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Sep 10, 2007 3:30PM

For all of our talk about the great food in the city, Chicagoist has been known to slack a little from time to time. For example, it probably isn't the best use of our money or daily caloric intake to chow down on the Thai lunch special from down the street a couple of times a week. But we do anyway. And we know a lot of parents probably operate similarly; they know a Lunchable or the pizza from the cafeteria aren't particularly nutritious, but they let their kids eat them for lunch anyway.

2007_9_Apple.jpgA new program based in the North 'burbs is trying to change that. Green Bag Lunch is a program in which parents can order a lunch online for their child, which is then delivered to their school. The lunches contain a healthy entree, two servings of fruit and/or vegetables, and a small treat. And, according to the Green Bag Lunch's website, "we use only reusable, recyclable and/or biodegradable packaging, helping to keep things green for your kids and their kids." All for $5 a lunch, a mere $2.50 more than the government subsidizes schools providing free and low-cost lunches under the National School Lunch Program.

"I want parents to feel good about themselves," Green Bag Lunch co-founder Anne Weber told the Trib. "I want kids to learn how to make good choices. And I want schools, parents, students and camps to see that being environmentally responsible just isn't as hard as they think."

It is difficult to argue with a program that provides healthy, environmentally friendly lunches for the people who can afford them (the program is in an elementary school in Evanston and at eight summer camps in Wilmette and Highland Park). We should all be so lucky. But what about the kids whose parents can't afford $5 for a lunch. Don't they deserve healthy (and environmentally friendly) eats too?