Breaking News: Niles West Students Boycott Organic Life Lunches

Breaking News: Niles West Students Boycott Organic Life Lunches

In an effort to raise awareness on cafeteria food conditions, students from district 219 plan on boycotting the food served by Organic Life today during lunch periods; however, during third period (the first lunch period,) some students had purchased food from the cafeteria while others brought food from home and other restaurants.

A Facebook page titled “Lunch Strike” went viral last night with comments and pictures from both Niles West, Niles North, and students who have already graduated. Some photos showed bugs, mold, and hair on food that students claimed were from the cafeterias.

A hashtag, #LunchStike2013,  for Twitter and other social media sites has been created to record the event. An online petition created by sophomore Michael Wheeler was created two days ago and has more than 50 signatures.

Principal Kaine Osburn said the students’ decision to take a stand is their right.

“In recent weeks a number of student complaints have been made to the administration regarding portion sizes in the cafeteria being too small.  Representatives from Organic Life are scheduled to meet with student government next week to address those concerns. At that meeting representatives from the Niles West and District administration will be present,” wrote Osburn in an email.  “If students wish to express their dissatisfaction with Organic Life by boycotting the food service, that is their right.  We trust that students will not engage in such disruptive behavior that other students cannot obtain lunch in a safe environment.”

Junior John Kruk eats Subway to boycott Organic Life's cafeteria food during #lunchstrike2013 Tuesday, Jan. 29. PHOTO by Alyssa Guzman

Junior John Kruk eats Subway to boycott Organic Life’s cafeteria food during #lunchstrike2013 Tuesday, Jan. 29. PHOTO by Alyssa Guzman


Many students said they were unhappy with the catering company.

“Anyone who has gotten sour cream from the stand knows that you can see hair strands in it,” senior Michael Gonzalez said. “In terms of the strike, I participate every day. I just go home and eat. If you don’t like the food, don’t eat it.”

“I think there has been a decline in the quality of the food. It’s progressively getting worse. The staff and the cooks are great, and I’m not discrediting them, but the main food is a little too greasy,” senior Sam Breitberg said.

[pullquote align=”right”]”The price is too high. It’s not proportional to how much food they give. The food strike is a good idea, but I think we’re rushing into it without a plan.” –senior Nikka Serrano [/pullquote]

Student cabinet and student government already have plans to meet with Organic Life.

“On Feb. 13 the class presidents and student government officers will have a meeting with Organic Life to discuss the serving problem. If you have any specific questions, suggestions, or comments, I suggest you contact your own class president through Facebook,email, etc,” senior Justin Sia said.

Some students said the strike is not going to accomplish anything.

“The whole food strike is arbitrary because people don’t take into account that other schools have no lunch or even worse lunches,” senior Robert Marohn said.

“If there was a group of able bodied people that started a petition I will be in full support.  Right now, I am not for it.  Student Government will get involved and we will talk to Organic Life,” junior Kyle McCaffery said.

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Video by Michelle Sproat
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  1. avatar

    serously grow up

  2. avatar

    to the people who said you were going to strike… y’all fake.

  3. avatar


  4. avatar

    It is a sad day when d219 can provide excellent program and education, but cannot provide something as simple as a decent lunch.

    • avatar
      Justin Sia

      To the person who spelled disappointed wrong:

      None of the problems that students are complaining about are the fault of D219, but rather are under the responsiblity of Organic Life. You have absolutely no idea how much D219 spends for the care of its students. Next time before you or any other kid comes out and just decides to throw insults, think about what you’re saying and get your facts straight.

      • avatar

        Isn’t Organic Life the same company that sued the district last summer for $650,000? I heard we settled for like half of that !!!

      • avatar

        If d219 does so much for the students, then why can’t they “care” for the kids and make a stand or help provide a decent lunch portion size because first of all the economy isn’t so great and having to pay around $8.00 for just a small panini is ridiculous. Especially when most of us aren’t even allowed to go outside for off campus lunch.


When she’s not busy keeping up with her AP classes and writing for the NWN and The Mash, Gabby enjoys taking yoga classes, traveling, and getting her hands on a DIY project. Last summer, she was the Illinois representative for the Al Neuharth Free Spirit program and plans on majoring in journalism in college.


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