A 10-year-old’s Letter About School Lunch

After weeks of discussion and attempting to ask questions, my 10-year-old finally had enough last night. He asked why all of the stuff he liked about lunch seems to be bad for you now. I couldn’t answer his questions any more, so I asked if he wanted to write a letter to one of the people in charge. He agreed.

Big Bro…in a self-portrait last summer.

These are his words, not mine. I admit that I did help him with spelling a few times, and I did help him write down an outline of what he wanted to say before he wrote the letter. I am immensely proud that he wanted to take this step…and I encourage other parents to help their children do the same. We are talking about their lunch and their future – and we need to keep them involved.

I’m including the documents, so you can see what he wrote, but I will also type out his message, so that you can read it plainly.

In the next few weeks, I will also be featuring other students who have questions and concerns. Perhaps we can help get their voices heard, so that we can answer those questions and keep working for positive changes. We have this great opportunity to discuss healthy choices and healthy habits, let’s keep the conversation going!

Lunch letter page 1


Dear Mr. Vilsack,

I am writing about the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 and school lunch.

I think that we shouldn’t pay for the extra food that we can get. Why did you think of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010? Why can’t we get pudding or melted cheese on burritos? I thought cheese was healthy?

I am 10 and sometimes I’m hungry when I get home from school. My Mom sometimes sends snack with me on the bus to school. My younger brother eats more than me. He is hungry all the time.

I would like to have a good school lunch. I think meat, cheese and bread are an important part of my meal.

Although I like fruits and vegetables, I would like to see changes made to the school lunch.

Thank You,

Ian Wagner


If a 10-year-old can take the time to write a letter, so can you. Here are the addresses, but don’t be afraid to include your local and state officials as well:

Undersecretary of Food & Nutrition Services
Kevin Concannon
1400 Independence Ave, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250

Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack
1400 Independence Ave, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250

6 thoughts on “A 10-year-old’s Letter About School Lunch

  1. I am proud of your son (& you) . I have heard nothing but negative about this new food program. Our “boys” are 20+ so we don’t deal with this, but I have nephews & nieces and children of friends in the school system. I have heard the negative from the students and the adults. Thank you Ian for writing this letter. I hope there are more students like you who write and that the “powers that be” take every letter seriously. For many children this is all they get to eat, I can’t imagine leaving them hungry which in turn lowers their ability to concentrate and learn. I do see that some of the State Ag Secretaries have met and discussed this so I hope something good comes from all of it.

  2. Way to go Ian!!! I hope your letter is read and thought about more than any of the letter sent from us, adults! It is YOUR lunch they’ve changed and I’m glad to see you do something about it and let your voice be heard!

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