Roughly 30 million kids in the U.S. eat school lunch every day, and "Big Food" companies have a pretty big stake in what makes it on kids' trays. It starts with federal money, but before USDA funding makes it to cafeterias, many school districts order from food giants like Tyson and PepsiCo who grab a big slice of the school lunch pie.
We hear a lot about school lunches in America and the food itself doesn't always get the best reputation. From Hollywood depictions to real life memories, the school cafeteria is a quintessential part of American culture.
Who decides what food gets put on the tray? And how come one school serves this on a $1.25 budget, while another serves this? Why are teachers working at McDonald's for a night? And how does a slice of Domino's pizza meet USDA guidelines?
Those are all loaded questions with complicated answers, but if you really boil it down the answer is money. Lots and lots of money.
The billion lunches that get doled out in school cafeterias every year make up a multibillion dollar industry that makes sure millions of kids are fed. It starts with federal money but on its way to cafeterias, school districts have to order the meals and food giants grab a big slice of the school lunch pie.
» Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC
About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more.
Connect with CNBC News Online
Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/
Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC
Follow CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC
Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC
Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC
Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC
How Brands Like Domino's Profit From School Lunch
As a current high school student in the uk I can happily say, SCEW U AMERICA we finally have something better than u.
Backpacking Carlie (21 hours ago)
and people ask me why I won't send my kids to public school.... reason number 1629452
Hassan Abbas (1 day ago)
Just bring your own lunch every thing solved, and dont be cheap!
Cham Prem (1 day ago)
NYC got it worse with lunch
Eliza Grogan (1 day ago)
Pizzas, hamburgers and fries have no place in School lunches. Real vegetables must feature. Three portions of veg (excluding potatoes and onions) should be the minimum. Our schools serve 4 and fruit is given in place of dessert. The meals are cooked inhouse.
Chad Simmons (1 day ago)
Michele obama was feeding kids rotten fruit & stale carrots & she ate gourmet meals
Susie Que (2 days ago)
11:30 "...snow days...kids are at home, in an environment that's probably not good for them." Hmmm.
Susie Que (2 days ago)
A billion more lunches than the last generation, but nowhere near a billion more kids. Follow the money and the crooked officials.
Mika Flores (2 days ago)
If schools didn't cook vegetables with tons of oil and water, and made them taste like actual food instead of a nasty soup of who knows what, I would eat it.
FRANCISCO aligherie (2 days ago)
It is sick, trash food is all about money not quality food. When those kids grow up the bussiness will still on as if they go to Vietnam, Belgium, Brazil or South Africa they will DEMAND THEIR TRASH FOOD !!
Moonroof (2 days ago)
Its a deal
Dabberson Dab (2 days ago)
K M (3 days ago)
Think of it like this, if you feed your children poor quality food, you future pool of recruit-able soldiers diminishes. That should concern hawks.
j_ s (3 days ago)
I remember when Michelle changed everything about the school lunch it made everything taste 10x worse
Jason Velez (3 days ago)
When i was in school there was a delivery truck with the name SYSCO on the side, That same truck would deliver food to our local prison as well. 🤔
Elliot Ashford (3 days ago)
I work at Dominos and lemme tell you, the bottom line of workers doesn't want or need to be making 180 pizzas for schools by 11:30 AM five days a week so corporate can rake in the profits. It's not cool to do that to the wage employees just so some salaried higher-up can profit off our hard work.
Charlie Wilhelm (3 days ago)
or you could just bring ur own lunch
Australia > America
eve lee (3 days ago)
well i judt get cold lunch
Svante E (3 days ago)
In Sweden the food is free and has all the nutrients that u need
Shawn Cezanne (3 days ago)
Should be more like Who gets sick from high school lunch?
A Person *aka Strawberrypatch5* (3 days ago)
The lunch at my school is free, and it is some tasty food.. 👌
Tilley toy box (3 days ago)
Watching this while eating junk food
PROGGAMINGDYT (3 days ago)
Did it have to be a video.....
Koshi Moshi (3 days ago)
The school lunch in my school is free and they sometimes sell breakfast tacos in the morning in the high school they sometimes SOMETIMES sell food Like Chick-fil-A but most of the time we just get pizza ,chicken , burgers, or sandwiches and milk which why the heck would you eat something like a burger with chocolate milk it just does not make sense for me
SoapyBleach (3 days ago)
Pause and go to 2:19
BACK THEN HOW COME THEIR LUNCHES ARE BETTER THAN OUR STANDARD TRASH SCHOOL LUNCHES...
Rokhaya Cameron (4 days ago)
School lunch is Bomb
May Castle (4 days ago)
I didn't get no dominos swag.
May Castle (4 days ago)
The first picture was my school lol.
APPLEYKING -Thunder Bay Explorer- (4 days ago)
None of my schools have lunch they have breakfast club and it’s great
Also we have a cafatira and it’s not cheep lol but it’s good food and teachers don’t work night it summers
I live in Ontario Canada
Cooper Nazzaro (4 days ago)
Why are we blaming government for our kids obesity and hunger yes the government serves the people but they can’t raise your child for you as a taxpayer I feel like it’s a waste when some lazy ass parent could take 5 min out of their “busy” schedule to take care of a child I mean come on it’s not hard no ones working 24 hours a day.
spacepeachh (4 days ago)
Here in Lithuania you get a full meal only for 1-3 euros
Rafael Castro (4 days ago)
of course trump had to loosened it
gmf iq (4 days ago)
1 reason selfishness and people doing nothing about it
chantym08 (4 days ago)
More than the food I couldn't stop thinking of all the plastic they throw everyday.
Lauren Meichtry (4 days ago)
At my high school in Nor Cal we had a sharing tub where students could leave any food they didn't want (usually fruit or milk) so that other students at school who were still hungry and wanted seconds could have seconds. It worked out pretty well, less food thrown away.
Robert Williams (4 days ago)
Better than when kids used to work/hustle for food in the early 20th.
Just someone in the comment section (4 days ago)
What school lunch in America cafeteria is free!?
Peachy jeon (4 days ago)
wasn't the answer always MONEY ?
K O R i G A N (5 days ago)
2:19 how do we go from that too prison food trays ...
Honestly Ethereal (5 days ago)
My school lunch tastes good? lmao
Danthood30 (5 days ago)
Middle school food is great
Nidhi Patel (5 days ago)
My school has good lunches 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
Natalia Mitiaev (5 days ago)
Video:"How does one slice of pizza meet dietary guidelines?!?"
Me: "B**ch...! I've been asking the world the same damn thing!"
SHIMNA kT (5 days ago)
In India students get lunch for free in school
Amazing Havlect / ABFDie (5 days ago)
Bruh I thought this was vox or great big story.
But not this...
XxStumpy KingxX (5 days ago)
I pay 5.50€ everyday for a piece of bread and a banana the food is disgusting
Abhishek Dev (5 days ago)
9:38 WTF? WTF? WTF? WHY IS SHE SPEAKING FROM THE PODIUM OF POTUS?? WHY WAS SHE HEADING ANY GOVERNMENT PROGRAM AT ALL.
Abhishek Dev (5 days ago)
This just proves that American government works for big companies and not for the people.
Abhishek Dev (5 days ago)
If you count french fries as vegetable then you are going to have obese people calling themselves as healthy human beings.
Nathan Turner (5 days ago)
Lol as far as I know Canada doesn't even have a school lunch program...
mybirdisdead Dominguez (5 days ago)
At my school I picked up rice by hand and it didn't fall apart
mpscats360 (6 days ago)
take notes from Japan, 'Merica
mpscats360 (6 days ago)
no wonder that large number of Americans are obese
Icyy bioniic (6 days ago)
School lunch is free for me
Zegar safi (6 days ago)
the food is not good they have to cut the time of the school to 12 o clock that all kids eat food in home
Silver Mist (6 days ago)
They seem to forget that kids have taste buds. Go for it an push healthy food but of it taste like crap then you can keep it. Apples an all the fruits an veggies go in trash cause it's all nasty as all get. Frozen solid an taste luke been in the back for over a year. Some things even have mold sometimes. Don't no body want that. An apple should be able to crack a tooth or shadder a window. All this talk of a healthy lunch just makes kida in school groan an wanna cry.i know i hated it when was in school. Healthy meaning now food has no seasoning at all. It's just sad.
Sommy Bunny (6 days ago)
*i bring my own lunch*
shishter sh00k (6 days ago)
The Japanese school lunches look way better then American
Marisa Smith (6 days ago)
In high school they only served milk with school lunches. No other alternatives. If you couldn’t drink milk, you had to go drinkless with lunch or spend an extra $1.50 at the vending machines. It’s ridiculous!
Talky The Gamer (6 days ago)
pizza sauce should not count as a veggie since by definition tomatoes are fruits.
Apurva Verekar (6 days ago)
Catch those selfish politicians. They will sell the country and it's people.
Apurva Verekar (6 days ago)
Currupt politicians. Just two words.
Ali A (6 days ago)
This isn’t Vox??!?!??!???
PMoose Traven (6 days ago)
Let those kids starve.
stop having kids too. Y'all should pay for your lunch. No free lunch kiddies.
phimosis jones (6 days ago)
as a canadian we never got school lunches lol
Olivia (6 days ago)
my school sells pizza like a breakfast lunch and something else every day
Axcellent Walukow (6 days ago)
In my school at Manado, Indonesia I did get healthy and nutritious lunches. And yes, parents paid for that which included on the tuition.. So i think maybe (just maybe) adding extra cost may lead to a better lunches there in the US.
lemon Side (6 days ago)
Why can’t children and student make their own lunch in the school?
Mc Lovin (6 days ago)
Maybe feed your own kids?
boiii nahh (6 days ago)
I thought this was vox until I saw the top comment
s a t u r n (6 days ago)
How are people this dumb
TasteTheGae (6 days ago)
Its disgusting. Don't tell me my favourite place be making money of disgusting af food
sub pewdiepie and stop Tseries (6 days ago)
what no rice
Anonymous Anonymous (6 days ago)
*Gordon Ramsay has left the chat*
R James (2 days ago)
Noah Riihinen (6 days ago)
I live in finland and in finland school lunch is free because the government pays for school meaning that my lunch today was paid by the government btw school food in finland is tastes really good thanks finnish government and the food in all finnish schools is homemade and my school does not allow unhealthy foods like french fries and i have never eaten anything like pizza at my school
Owen Ward (7 days ago)
My old school in California had free lunches
FartDestroyer21 _ (7 days ago)
My school serves dominos
WavyMarck (7 days ago)
School lunch sucks ass everything is frozen and they don’t even cook it right
PJ Szabo (7 days ago)
When CNBC becomes Vox.
TheBookylnLord (7 days ago)
I just hate the fact that I live in literally a citrus state and have the CRAPPIEST oranges. Like seriously they taste so bad and not like an orange at all. If it’s too orange, it taste disgusting.
Kana Games (7 days ago)
My school:* buys cheap food*
Also my school: *buys tablets, tv’s, and laptops*
Li Lin (7 days ago)
school lunches were the only time I ever got to eat white people food. can't say I was impressed though. Due to a lot of allergy regulations in North America, it was pretty hard to eat anything that had any flavour other than salt and pepper. I think my dad paid like 25 dollars a month or something for me.
PaperTowel (7 days ago)
My school just doesnt serve the 5 food groups. A lot of times they even just dont have enough food for everyone.
FitThickChic (7 days ago)
I see they are still forcing milk & dairy upon children. Many nonwhite people are lactose intolerant. After grad I stopped drinking milk and mostly eliminated dairy from my diet and couldn't be happier.
Corpse (7 days ago)
TADDERTOTS? I AINT EVER HAD TADDERTOTS. I live in Ct, one of "richest state" and I didn't find out about taddertots till I was 15.
6,000 subscribers with no videos? (7 days ago)
What the FRAC! This isn’t Vox.
supr tubr (7 days ago)
Im luck I liwe in Europe
Hayitskittykat ! (7 days ago)
at my middle school, even though there are things like chips which cost extra, you are not allowed to go and sit down without getting a real fruit or vegetable such as carrots and things like fries or ketchup do not count. you can't even get your ketchup until you get past the paying counters.
Elizabeth Hamilton (7 days ago)
Man I wish that our meals costed 1.50 when I was in high school. I was one of the kids who actually had to pay for my meals and it cost 4.25 for 5 chicken nuggets, a small slice o bread, a small scoop of green beans and a small carton of milk. I ended up not buying the meals anymore because it wasn’t worth the portions so I started buying two orders of fries and a water bottle for 3 bucks and was filled up a lot more. So I lived off that all of high school.
Samir Safarov (7 days ago)
lucky americans, here in sweden i get dry fish everyday as a school lunch ;-;
Ryiah Alexandra (7 days ago)
Here in Switzerland at my school we have amazing food at the cantine, but you have to pay 9.70 CHF per meal. But you can eat as much as you want, they cook vegetarian, vegan, glutenfree etc. however you wish. there is huge variety of vegetables every day, and you can choose fruit aswell!
babs1nyc (7 days ago)
In Austria we never had (don't know how its now) school lunch. You either brought your own food or bought some at the lunch store.
Frame Ready (7 days ago)
I'm sure this don't look that way to many Americans as people get used to stupid ass ideas, like repetitive commercials, but I mean funyuns, smart slice program, McTeachers. This sounds to me no less stupid then the most ridiculous medieval beliefs. No wander many people have the stereotype of Americans being gullible and brainwashed
Kenneth Cabauatan (7 days ago)
while in the Philippines, rice + soy sauce is a typical school lunch in the provinces
Josh Grossman (7 days ago)
I worked at dominos for two years and was often in charge of making the school lunch pizzas and entering the sales. I can say that the schools charged students way more for the pizza than we charged them. We sold a pizza with six slices to a school for ten dollars, and my sister who was a student at one of the schools said they charged kids 5 dollars a slice. I can’t say what they did with that money, but at that price point the school district was making 20 dollars a pizza. I just hope they invested it back into the students.
way2girly (7 days ago)
no one is eating the food so honestly it's a waste
Valentin Diehl (7 days ago)
Why do school districts have to order food? How big are your schools? Where I live every schools cooks their lunches themselves 😳