Saturday, July 15, 2017

Family Search 52 Stories Week 23

This week's question involves food - school food, to be exact. Some of my memories are fond, others not so much.

What are your memories of school lunch? Did you bring from home or eat at school? How did the food and your experiences change from school to school?

My kindergarten was only half day, so I had lunch at home after the bus dropped me off at the corner. From 1st-7th grades, I attended Holy Trinity Catholic School. They barely had a lunchroom there, much less a cafeteria, so mom packed lunches for my brother and me every day. Once each semester they would have a hot lunch consisting of beef burgers, chips and homemade desserts. The moms would prepare and serve the meal in the gym. It was such a treat to see my mom during the school day, and to have something different to eat for a change.

There are a couple of other things that stand out in my mind. One is that during lent, we could eat meat on Fridays. All those tuna fish sandwiches smelled horrible in the coat closet! No one had insulated lunch boxes in those days. The second was the day my brother and I knew that we had a half day and didn't need a lunch. Mom made us take one anyway, and we ditched our lunches in the shrubs at a neighbor's house. Wouldn't you know the lady would choose that morning to do yard work, found the labeled paper sacks, and called our mom to tattle on us. She was not happy with us, but we ate the lunches when we got home - early, just like we thought.

Meredith Junior High School
The junior high school I switched to in 8th grade must not have left an impression on me, food-wise. I'm guessing it had a cafeteria as it was attached to the high school, but I honestly have no recollection it. I probably continued to pack a lunch for financial reasons.

At the high school I remember going through the food line with my friends. I bought the same thing every day - an orange and two peanut butter cookies. It cost me twenty cents. Once in a blue moon if there was something special on the menu and I had some extra money, I would buy my lunch.

When I got to Iowa State, if you were in their housing program you paid for room and board. I still remember that the cost was $525 per quarter (the university was on the three quarter system at that point) for the room and meals. We received a punch card good for three meals a day, except on Sundays when only two meals were provided. You were assigned a dining hall, and your punch card was only good there. Most of the food was actually pretty good, but I remember being thankful that dining hall duty was not my job in the work-study program I was in. Sunday nights I would eat popcorn or heat up a can of soup in my hot pot.

My senior year I moved off campus into a mobile home with another girl. Cleaning, paying bills, grocery shopping and cooking were all skills that have benefited me throughout my life.