Lunch Ladies Scoop Out a Heaping Helping of Protest


Look at these Boston-area lunch ladies.

who will slop the sloppy joes?

There's nothing worse than a sad lunch lady. They're like posse of sad clowns.

Now read this opening paragraph of a Boston Globe story about their plight:

The Newton School Committee voted Monday to adopt a 2011 budget that cuts $500,000 from the school lunch program, despite protests by cafeteria workers that the savings would be achieved through privatization.

The passage doesn't make sense unless you assume that privatization is automatically a bad thing. Try this thought experiment: Would the passage would work if it read like this?

The Newton School Committee voted Monday to adopt a 2011 budget that cuts $500,000 from the school lunch program, despite protests by cafeteria workers that the savings would be achieved through killing puppies.

How about like this?

The Newton School Committee voted Monday to adopt a 2011 budget that cuts $500,000 from the school lunch program, despite protests by cafeteria workers that the savings would be achieved through hugs and rainbows.

The article goes on to quote one of the 100 protesting lunch ladies:

"We feed the children well, provide them with good company, and treat them with respect. That's important, because it teaches the children to respect as well."

Note that the kids will still have lunch served to them by humans. It's just that those humans will be employed by a private company rather than the state, sparing Massachusetts pension liabilities and other extra costs. Despite working for a private corporation, they will probably be aware of the concept of respect, should any kids want to have a chat about it in the hot lunch line.

The lunch ladies' counterproposal for cost savings includes this totally-for-the-kids policy suggestion:

providing lunch managers with more power to choose cost-effective food options.

In other words: Jobs for us! Mystery meat for the kids!

For more on school lunch, enjoy this video on U.K. celeb chef Jamie Oliver's plans to remake the diets of America's fat kids:


NEXT: Injustice System

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  1. …and the meat goes on…

    1. . . .Drumsticks pounding a rhythm to the brain,
      La de da de de,
      La de da de da.

  2. Hugs and rainbows please. And an extra helping of unicorn farts.

    Is H&R repeatedly crashing anyone else’s Firefox today?

    1. No, but this is the first week in the last month when Reason hasn’t caused IE7 to abort without warning.

    2. Mine crashed yesterday when I tried to load a page of earlier posts.

    3. I’m using IE7 (not intentionally) and it’s been bad today. Not crashing, but not loading full pages and taking a long time to do it.

      1. I have been able to confirm that Flash aborts hard (IE7 justs goes blip and is gone) only when viewing

        1. Why don’t you guys just break down and get a decent browser?

          1. Most of the videos won’t play on Chrome and the pages don’t update. So what browser does this site work with?

            1. From my single data point, the latest Firefox, still on XP, haven’t had any trouble with this site.

              1. +1 for Firefox. IE comes here to die.


              I hear that’s what all the kids are using these days. Don’t let it install another stupid toolbar during installation. Loads very fast on an XP pro computer with way too much crap already loaded. Doesn’t play some videos at some sites, but works just fine with youtube. Doesn’t seem to like, if you just happen to be wanting to watch (non-free) Thai TV.

            3. Firefox but I won’t run it w/o adblock.All kinds of crap loading hangs it really bad.
              Adblock is a must on my creaky old Transmeta-powered tiny laptop. Opera seems to work fine even with the ads.

            4. I use Opera, but I have Flash turned off by default. I hate Flash ads with a passion.

          2. Because my employer’s IT gurus lockdown our desktop and restrict us to MS IE.

    4. Yes.

    5. Canned unicorn meat, coming up….…..meat.shtml

  3. Excellent post!


  4. I eagerly await the Lunchlady Dorris PSA.

    “More testicles mean more iron!”

    1. Do you remember when you lost your passion for this work?

  5. It completely fucking retarded that a Massachusetts town can only go after lunch ladies to save money; I guess the pigs or the trash collectors are just unassailable.

    “The spirit of Massachusetts is the spirit of America/the spirit of the red white and blue”

    1. Don’t you know that budget cuts only affect relatively low-cost, popular and very visible services?

      If it’s really expensive, hidden from view and only benefits a few people, say, local politicians or their cronies, then that goes untouched.

    2. FWIW, trash collection/recylcing services in Newton are contracted out to a private company, and new automated system was implemented a few months ago that is supposed to save the city a significant amount of money.

      And by the way, this is Massachusetts, it’s retahded, not retarded.

      1. Uh, don’t you mean “wicked retahded”?

        1. No, paying $200 million for a high school is wicked retahaded.

    3. Newton, Massachusetts? Aren’t they the ones that just built a $200 million high school?

      1. Yeah. In Newton, that loud-mouth idiot Barney Frank somehow passes for an elder statesman.

        1. At that price, they should be able to afford gold-plated protocol droids feeding them lunch.

    4. I guess the pigs or the trash collectors are just unassailable.

      And in your average town or city what exactly is the difference?

    5. Cops and trash collectors (and firemen) are heroes. They are to be cherished and lavished with excessive salaries for the 20 or so years that they work before retiring.

      1. And excessive pensions after that point.

  6. SWIM used to buy amphetamines from a lunch lady in high school. Helped learning a lot more than whatever they were serving to eat.

  7. Is this from The Onion?

  8. “That’s me retirement grease!”

    The only thing I miss about school lunches were the spectacular fights. This one girl stacked three of those hard plastic complemented lunch trays together and hit another girl in the head. The trays shattered and sprayed the entire lunch line with jagged shards. The girl that got hit didn’t come back to school for a month and had a huge U-shaped scar on her shaved head.

    1. Great story, NutraSweet.

      1. Although even I don’t know what the hell a “complemented lunch tray” is. Compartmentalized.

        1. “I don’t know what the hell a “complemented lunch tray””

          It’s the pretty one everybody is saying nice things about.

    2. Did you later apologize to the girl you had hit?

      Maybe buy her a nice wig?

      1. It’s disturbing how badly you want to imagine I’m a girl.

        Anyway, my only high school fights were with that albino I beat up twice.

        1. You beat up an albino, that is sooo fucking wrong. Not cool dude, not cool at all.

          1. Dude, this was like the meanest albino of all time. He’s was mean like a greaser kid from a Stephen King novel. He got in fights all the time, half the class was terrified of him. I was a skinny little kid, he had make forty pounds of pasty white muscle on me, and I still kicked his ass twice in gym class.

            1. I just don’t think I could look into those beady pink eyes and feel anything but pity, let alone fear and rage. But, fuck him anyways always good to hear of a bully getting his comeuppance.

            2. You beat up Elric? HOLY SHIT

              1. Fear me, mortal.

              2. You beat up Elric? HOLY SHIT

                Pfft. He actually beat up Edgar Winter.

                1. “Die, you chalk-faced goons!”

            3. Beat him up? You should have parted him out.
              Those albinos are worth some serious folding green once you cut ’em up.

              1. How the fuck did you find that?

                Wow, just wow.

                1. Must be from NPR. They did a radio show on it. In between musings on unicorn farts and the tribulations of lunch ladies (background music by West African lesbian acapella group).

              2. Fucking animals.

            4. Dude, this was like the meanest albino of all time. He’s was mean like a greaser kid from a Stephen King novel.

              Remember Sacarrhin Man, They Always Come Back

              1. I will be a while before he does. He’s in Federal prison for at least another decade or so on LSD trafficking charges (which were enhanced by having a stolen handgun in the car IIRC.)

                1. I take it you never saw this or read the book.

                  BTW reference FAIL on my part.

                2. He liked taking acid ’cause he could look at himself in the mirror and see colors.

            5. Yeah, but he went on to play a major role in The Da Vinci Code. Showed you up by living well. That’s pretty good even if he doesn’t have a soul.

          1. I do admit to hating the really, really white race.

            His brother was a genetic freak as well. Had pectus carinatum. They were probably both conceived in a waste treatment plant.

            1. I saw a black albino, well she was african american or whatever, at a local water park once. She was mean as shit too, was beating up and tormenting her younger siblings. But, I thought; the siblings will grow up and be normal citizens you will just be a nasty souled pariah.

              1. Anasty-souled pariah made out of cash!

                1. Again, Mr. The Hippies, wow this is some fucked up shit, really.

            2. You are still laboring under the delusion that we are foolish enough to click on your tricksy links.

              1. I never link to tubgirl as KtHs

            3. You are so dead to me.

                1. There was an albino black dude at my school in AK. No joke – he went ballistic about something a few years after graduating and was killed by the Anchorage PD SWAT team.

                  1. Being the only black dude in Alaska probably made him batty, that and the cold weather.

            4. Sufferation, dat’s all I meet.

    3. I saw a girl’s titty fall out in a fight at lunch time. Chick was freaking nasty but at sixteen a titty’s a titty.

      1. The greatest lunch fights were (and I presume still are), of course, cat fights. All of sudden there’s screaming and hair pulling and scratching and my god was it ever entertaining.

        And did anyone see the Tosh.0 where he shows the video of one girl pulling a (successful) sleeper hold on another girl in a fight? AWESOME.

    4. My favorite cafeteria fight: One football player suck up behind another and slammed a texbook on his head. The victim jumped up and tackled the assailant onto another table.

      These tables were hinged in the middle so they could be fold up and rolled out of the way in order to clean the floor. When 400 pounds of football player crashed into it, the table flew up spilling kids and lunches all over.

      As if that wasn’t fun enough, the assailant later joked that this was the only use he ever had for his math book.

  9. Sloppy joe, slop, sloppy joe!

    1. You’re movies are horrible. Stop making them.

      1. Actually, Funny People wasn’t so bad.

        1. I like Happy Gilmore. Also the one with the little kid and Jon Stewart.

          Ordinarily I hate movies with little kids in them. But in that one Adam Sandler teaches the little kid to act like an asshole. And that appeals to my sense of humor.

          1. Big Daddy.

    2. I prefer Sloppy Jimbos. Or perhaps some Uter-braten.

  10. The Newton School Committee voted Monday to adopt a 2011 budget that cuts $500,000 from the school lunch program, despite protests by cafeteria workers that the savings would be achieved through allowing inmates from the county jail to prepare their meals.

    1. “Malk…now with vitamin ‘R’?”

      1. At least malk doesn’t come from rats…

  11. Of course, the private company that gained the contract will need employees, and presumably these lunch ladies would be great candidates since they have experience, and are so good at teaching respect.

    Except they’d have to work for the same benefits, salaries, and accountability that the rest of us in the private sector have, and that seems unacceptable to them.

    Nonetheless, I’m certain their concern is solely for the children.

    1. Dang, I said almost the same thing down thread without reading your post, sorry for the redundancy everyone. It is kinda hard to see what you wrote though, its like there is a bright light behind it and all I can see is a vague outline.

  12. Why do the signs read: “save the Newton lunch ladies.” Are they discriminating against men?

    1. Yeah, can everyone on this forum please use inclusive language. The proper name is Lunchpersons 🙂

  13. It is vital that government employees provide the cafeteria service because these activities are absent in the private sector.

  14. Is H&R repeatedly crashing anyone else’s Firefox today?

    Not anymore. Some shitty script used to pile up fail in the background and suddenly crash it, but it recently stopped doing that.

    The reply button still doesn’t work, but that’s good.

    reply to this

  15. Those signs look to have sharp edges. I hope they’re careful with them:

  16. Instead of Hugs and Rainbows or Killing Puppies, what privatization means in this instance is “firing the lunch ladies”. How silly they are to protest such a plan.

    1. Right, because once you get a job, it should be guaranteed for life.

  17. Is there anyone in all of America who looks back on their school days and thinks “That lunch lady really turned my life around”?

    Give me a break women. Your slinging hash to grimy partially civilized people. It’s no different than working the counter at Taco Bell and should be compensated similarly.

    1. “”Give me a break women. Your slinging hash to grimy partially civilized people. It’s no different than working the counter at Taco Bell and should be compensated similarly.””

      At least at Taco Bell they have a chance to move up in the company if they desire. So getting booted might be a blessing in disguise.

    2. Did anyone else lose their virginity to the lunch lady? uhhhh, me either….

      1. “Okay, now take off your hairnet. Slower… Slooooower….”

        1. “I like…..I like the way the line runs up the back of that hairnet…”

          “No, no, no, don’t take it off…leave it on…”

      2. No, but that gives me a good idea for a porn movie.

    3. Yes, in 9th grade I took a wrong turn on my way to smoke a j in the bathroom and ended up in the school kitchen. The lunch ladies were all naked licking bulk mayo off eachother. I was totally into dudes before that day.

  18. Try the Camino browser, I’ve never had a problem with it.

  19. Are the three guys standing in the background also lunch ladies?

    1. No. They just dig on that lunch lady swerve.

      “Hey, lunch lady. Wanna ladle me over your sweet potatoes?”

      1. They probably have foot fetishes too.

        “You’re gout is so hot! I must have you!”

  20. Looks like those ladies might just have a wee bit too much spare time on their hands.


  21. Since I never was even slightly tempted to eat the shit they served as school lunch, I also managed to avoid learning any respect from a lunch lady.

    1. I was home lunched.

  22. Katherine, This one is more apt.

    The Newton School Committee voted Monday to adopt a 2011 budget that cuts $500,000 from the school lunch program, despite protests by cafeteria workers that the savings would be achieved by putting us out of work.

    It’s very easy to understand people want to defend their paycheck. You really missed it by a long shot.

    1. I’d be pissed too, why can’t they at least have the current employees work for the private company that is going to take over the lunch program. They already have the experience at the job, so they wouldn’t have to train new workers.

    2. ”It’s sad to see the school district making decisions based on money and not what’s best for the kids,” said Claudia Gentile, a cafeteria worker at Day Middle School.

      Why don’t the lunch ladies volunteer to take a pay cut equal to the projected $500K savings? Then everybody wins!

      1. Have you ever volunteered to take a pay cut?

  23. Whenever I think of school lunches, I think of that scene from The Wall with pig-masqued kids going straight into a meat-grinder.

    I brown-bagged my entire K-12 and stayed out of the dorms in college for the simply reason that school lunches were mutant.

  24. It is hard to stay mad at Reason when they come out with articles like this. Katherine, you rock.

  25. A post chock-full of win (and probably niacin)!

  26. There’s nothing worse than a sad lunch lady.

    You’ve obviously never had a bear trap clamp shut on your genitals. That was the second worst pain I’ve ever experienced.


  27. OK, I’ll bite (and I’m totally not sage!). What pain could possibly be worse than that?

    1. Thanks for asking! That would be when I started running and hit the end of the chain.

        1. Must have been a short trip.


          1. ?

            Is that a zing becuase the chain was short?

            1. If chain is a metaphor for penis, then doubly so, as you have now admitted it.

              1. Damn, that joke just isn’t as funny when (a) someone actually has a comeback to it, and (b) I’m no longer in third grade.

                1. Noted. Zing FAIL!

  28. Speaking of pension liabilities, the city of Newton’s retirement board recently voted to approve the expenditure of sending two of its board members to a national conference for public sector retirement boards. The conference is taking place in Las Vegas.

    One of the members of Newton’s Retirement board is also an administrative law judge in Mass. This administrative law judge works for the Division of Administrative Law Appeals which has jurisdiction over retirement cases for city, county and state employees.

    Don’t you just love the way things are done in Massachusetts?

    1. ala Nelson Muntz… HAH HAH!

  29. I’m surprised that nobody has brought up the blatant sexism involved in this protest. I wonder how the “lunch guys” feel about being sacrificed by their female coworkers. I hope Cynthia Good will come to the defense of these helpless victims of predatory sexism.

    1. Dude, “lunch guys” is condescending. Call them lunch laddies.

  30. In order to get the job do you have to be shaped like a pear? Seriously though, maybe they wouldn’t have to take a pay cut if they didn’t eat the profits.

  31. What an odd coincidence. My neighbor and I were just discussing lunch ladies a couple of evenings ago. How’s that for scintillating conversation?

    Anyway, our families both moved a lot so between us we’d gone to like 20 public schools. Met a lot of lunch ladies. And we both remember despising every single one of them. Nasty trolls, probably dragged screaming from under their bridges and took it out on us kids.

    Die in poverty, lunch ladies!

  32. now where will the children learn about lunch lady arms?

  33. Show pictures of Katherine Mangu-Ward’s face to children as a way of making them lose their appetites and eat less. Maybe it would cause excess vomiting.

    1. Go back to grylliade loser

    2. Max, how did it feel to type that comment? Did it feel good? Do you feel like a somebody, like a man? I hope so, if that’s what it takes. You should look at the words you typed, and ask yourself why you wrote them.

      Just because your life is shit, that is no reason to be mean. At the end of the day you’re still a fucking loser, ya know. And your ham fisted attempts at trolling aren’t clever enough to hide what everybody here can plainly see. So go back into the hole you call your mind and don’t come back.

      You are useless.

      Nobody likes you.

      No one cares about you.

      If you die the world would be a better place.

  34. I appreciate the points made in this piece but don’t see what alternative they are proposing. Leave things as they are? Privatize the lunch programs? I don’t see how these things will improve the health of kids.

    1. Well, I don’t think “improving the health of kids” is the issue. Not going bankrupt, now there’s a worthy goal!

  35. This posting made good discussion. That’s a great thing.

  36. This posting make good discussion. That’s a good thing.

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