Would you eat this school lunch?

District responds to controversial school lunch picture

A student's mother took this picture of a lunch served at James Hurst Elementary School in Portsmouth Tuesday, April 14, 2015.
A student's mother took this picture of a lunch served at James Hurst Elementary School in Portsmouth Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth Public Schools admits concern over the presentation of a student’s lunch served Tuesday at James Hurst Elementary.

Dozens of people reached out to 10 On Your Side after a student’s mother posted a picture of  the meal on social media. It shows cooked corn on a lunch platter, alongside a fish filet with a bun placed on top.

According to the school district’s lunch menu, which is posted online, the lunch choices served Tuesday were the following:

  • Spicy Cajun Fish w/Brown Rice
  • Cold Cut Turkey Sub (w/g)
  • Assorted Chef Salad (Croutons & Crackers)
  • Steamed Carrots & Side Salad
  • Fresh Orange or Canned Fruit
  • 1% & Skim Milk

10 On Your Side contacted Portsmouth Public Schools about the controversy. They released the following statement from Food Service Coordinator Jim Gehlhoff:

We appreciate this parent’s concern about the presentation of this school lunch. Poor lighting and food presentation make this lunch unappealing. Other lunch options on the day this photo was taken included a chef’s salad and turkey sub sandwiches. The meal in this photo and other meals served by Portsmouth Public Schools meet nutritional and USDA requirements. The presentation of the meal pictured concerns us and we plan to address presentation of food items in a training session with all cafeteria managers. Our goal is to provide healthy food options that students will want to eat. We will take actions to ensure that presentation is addressed.