EDUCATION
08/31/2012 04:34 pm ET | Updated Oct 02, 2012

#BrownBagginIt Trending On Twitter As Pittsburgh Students Protest School Lunches

Students at a suburban high school in Pittsburgh are protesting their school lunches by tweeting about it.

Plum Borough School District high school students are #BrownBagginIt instead of paying for their school lunches to protest what they say is an increase in price -- to $2.50 a person -- but decrease in quality and quantity of the food they receive.

Plum High School student Sean Doyle started it all by going on Twitter, telling everyone to bring their own lunch to avoid purchasing from the school for a day.

"We eat it every day. I know it's hard for me to explain to you how disgusting it may be or how bad it is, but look how many high school kids are mad about it," Doyle told WPXI. "We're trending number two in Pittsburgh. It's not good food, and we want some better food."

One student using the Twitter handle @matthews1_will tweeted, "everybody in plum who is in elementary to high school start #BrownBagginit to protest against the district high prices and low quality food."

The hashtag is now taking off, and has become the second most popular tag on Twitter in Pennsylvania since yesterday, spotlighting the issue that school lunches are becoming less healthy and perhaps less appetizing while costs are on the rise. One student tells WPXI that food items are "soggy and disgusting," and Doyle estimates that about three-quarters of the student body participated in bringing their own lunch to school Thursday, expecting even more in the coming days.

Although students are upset by the standard of school lunches, food service director Maryann Lazzaro said Plum isn't the only school serving lunches this way, as districts across the country are following similar protocol in order to meet new federal guidelines that call for more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and fewer fats.

"If you're working with 650 calories for a meal, and 140 comes from a milk and 70 comes from fruit because fruit is now mandated ... you've only got a small amount left for the protein, the bread and the vegetable," Lazzaro told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But students say the lunches are not enough for growing high schoolers who often have to buy two lunches or carry additional snacks to get through the day.

"This is just the beginning, we've got to start spreading it to other school districts now, start 'BrownBagginIt,'" Doyle told WPXI.

Check out what the teens are saying on Twitter about their #BrownBagginIt protest:

BrownBagginIt

CONVERSATIONS