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RC Cola and a Moon Pie

Soon kids will be back in school and making choices about what they will eat for lunch.

Will they be doling out the cash by the day or week and eating from a dietetically-sanctioned school lunchroom menu? Or will a finicky eater’s choices rule in favor of a home-prepared lunch?

I didn’t have a choice at the two schools I attended as a first- through fifth-grader. Neither school had a lunchroom.

Each student was responsible for bringing his or her own lunch. These lunches consisted mostly of foods that were produced, prepared and served from the family dinner table – namely biscuits filled with eggs, ham, butter and jam.

Lunches were packed both individually and jointly, in cases where two or more siblings attended the same school. Students with lunch boxes had the benefit of bringing a bottle of fresh milk.

Barfield Junior High School made a giant step in food service in 1946 when it opened a lunchroom and began offering a light lunch for 10 cents. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, along with an apple, orange or banana, went to each student.

The next year, hot food items were added, and my three siblings and I brought fresh vegetables from the farm to help pay for our lunches.

The novelty of eating a hot meal in the school cafeteria had worn thin, however, by the time I reached the 10th grade at Lineville High School. The over-cooked veggies lacked the home-cooked quality we were used to, and some of my friends and I decided we would hunt a lunchtime alternate.

A school policy allowed students to go off campus to eat lunch provided they returned to campus in time for their next class. We found we had enough time during lunch break to go downtown, grab a bite to eat and return to campus in time for our first afternoon class.

With a quarter each to spend, we were able to buy a cold RC Cola and a Moon Pie or a four-count package of cinnamon rolls. While we were eating, the owner of an adjacent feed and seed store permitted us to sit on sacks of feed in his store.

This combination was more than enough food to fill our empty tummies and keep us going for the rest of the day.

 

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