Instagram page challenges school cafeteria food

Hailey Hecht-O'Connor, Editor

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Historically cafeteria food has always been subpar. However, a new student-run Instagram page made headlines showing how bad it really is.

In December 2018, junior Amber Christensen started a Instagram page called ikeprsionsfood to call attention to an issue she believes was plaguing the school: cafeteria food.

The page has 1,414 followers and 114 posts ranging from pictures of moldy or under-prepared meat to videos of dead bugs on sandwiches.

DDE HS Prison Food 🤮 (@ikeprisonfood)

According to Christensen, ikeprisonfood initially was a way to vent frustration over the sickening food. However, as her page grew and gained the attention of the school administration, changes were made to refine the message.

“[ikeprisonfood] wasn’t exactly a force for good when it started, what with the inappropriate language and sloppy slandering,” explains Christensen, “But after talking with the administrators, I saw the potential my page had for change and took up that opportunity not just for myself, but all the students at Eisenhower.”

Chartwells, a school-focused catering company, has provided the cafeteria food for Eisenhower for the past 19 years, with the food being served for free for the past 4 years.

“Our promise.. ​To extend our passion, dedication, knowledge and enthusiasm into serving each student delicious and nutritious meals,” Chartwells’ website states.

CBS News presented a story on ikeprisonfood on April 19, 2019, where Christensen and her mother discussed the subpar food. The two minute segment also featured a statement released by District 218 superintendent Ty Harding saying:

“The cafeteria team and the school administration met with students and took action based on their feedback.”

Blue Island High Schooler’s Instagram Account Chronicles Cafeteria’s ‘Prison Food’

Since CBS news covered the story, Christensen and fellow students report that the school cafeteria has made some positive changes. New food options ranging from different bread options in the sandwich lines, to water flavored with cucumber or lemon.

No more changes are guaranteed for next year, but Christensen says she will keep ikeprisonfood up until she graduates.

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