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Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022
Good Tuesday Morning to You!

Hard, sturdy plastic. A palate of faded colors. Stackable and easy to clean. These words describe something most all of us used at more school time meals than we can count: the hot lunch tray.

Its image is likely coming to mind now. A silverware space along the left-hand side. A large space in the lower right for the entrée. A round circle in the lower left for a side. A small space in the upper left for dessert. Another small space (with a circle in the middle) in the upper right for the milk carton. And a mysterious small space in the upper middle that went unused. These 10-inch by 14-inch trays were an everyday item for decades in schools. I can still envision the lunch ladies spraying them down.

Plenty of these — used and new — can still be found for sale. A couple decades ago, we bought some. Our daughters were young, and we frequently went camping, so Jolene and I thought these trays would be handy. They weren’t. They certainly made life easier in cafeteria kitchens, but they were a pain to wash in the 10-inch by 10-inch sink of our travel trailer. Even so, they are a nostalgic piece of American history.

The school lunch itself also has an interesting history, which is described in depth at this PBS website. According to the site, Philadelphia and Boston were the first major cities to actively implement a school lunch program in the United States, sometime around 1894. It wasn’t national policy until 1946 when the 79th Congress recognized the importance of school lunch and made it official and President Harry S. Truman signed the National School Lunch Act into law.

But is hot lunch good for you? I recall a classmate of mine once asking a teacher that. His reply? “Look at the lunch ladies.” He later apologized to our class — and to the lunch ladies.

Back to those hot lunch cafeteria trays. Are they now a relic? If you are like me, you likely haven’t eaten in a school cafeteria in quite some time. According to a 2011 story in USA Today, some colleges trashed the trays in efforts to save water. The story reported that a senior-level math class found that eliminating trays could cause significant savings in washing costs. Without trays, the school would need less water, cleaning chemicals and labor in the dish room.

One could argue whether that make sense or not, but a very important question still remains: What was that mysterious small space in the upper middle part of the tray used for?

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305


Your Clear Mortgage forecast from Jason Parkin

More great weather is ahead through Thursday, though things will get breezier starting Wednesday. Good rain chances move in Friday and again Saturday before that system moves out on a windy Sunday.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Jason at parkin.mortgage

Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
3400 S.E. 19th Court,
Des Moines, IA 50320
Pride of ownership shows throughout this immaculately kept split level in a lovely Des Moines neighborhood! Truly move-in ready, there are updates on every floor. Two cozy living spaces to hang out in, three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, so there is space for everyone. Kitchen is bright and cheery with updated stainless appliances.
See More Homes For Sale

FROM KCCI: Ankeny couple pleads guilty in federal poaching case

An Ankeny couple famous for their viral bow-hunting videos is pleading guilty in a federal poaching case. Josh and Sarah Bowmar are among dozens of people charged in a case against the Nebraska-based company Hidden Hills Outfitters. ..READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Nunn on why he raised hand to say no abortion exceptions when he supports some

DES MOINES, Iowa — The raised left hand of Zach Nunn has been the subject of numerous campaign mailers and political advertisements during his campaign to defeat U.S. Representative Cindy Axne, a West Des Moines Democrat, in their race in Iowa’s Third Congressional District.....READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Bird flu infects Iowa egg farm with 1 million chickens

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa agriculture officials said Monday that another commercial egg farm in the state has been infected with bird flu, the first commercial farm case identified since April when a turkey farm was infected. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Best Of Des Moines 2022

CITYVIEW announced its 2022 Best Of Des Moines readers' choices Feb.1. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best Local Place to Take Visitors
1. John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
2. Des Moines Art Center
3. Fresko Natural Food



A new chapter

The Neels embrace community at Connect 55+.

By Becky Kolosik

At the ages of 91 and 81, John and Sharon Neel like living their own lives, their own way. Of course, as the couple has aged, their health needs have changed, and that was a major factor in deciding to move to Indianola after spending many years in Chariton.

“We both had medical appointments in Des Moines and, as those became more frequent, we relied more on our daughter, who lives in Norwalk, for help,” says Sharon. “Our son and his family also live in Des Moines, so Indianola seemed like a perfect fit for us.”

For the past eight years, John and Sharon hadnlived in a double-wide mobile home. John was still mowing the lawn and keeping up with household maintenance. They started thinking about what life would be like if they didn’t have to worry about those things and began looking into senior living communities in and around Chariton. Unfortunately, most had a two- to three-year waiting list.

... Read More In the October issue of Indianola  Living magazine.

From the Food Dude

PETA has long been denouncing coconut milk producers for using chained and abused monkeys as harvesting slaves. Harmless Harvest now has a coconut water brand that has been endorsed as slave-free. It is organic and tastes good, too. — Jim Duncan


Fall colors on Ashworth Pond. Photo taken at Greenwood Park. — Photo by Paul Houston

Birthdays and Notables!

Happy Birthday to these celebrities: Tim Cook, Penn Badgley, Anthony Kiedis, Jenny McCarthy, David Foster

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning Chuckle
The answer to yesterday's riddle:
What does Dr. Frankenstein call the cemetery?
THE BODY SHOP! Shane Goodman, Martha Munro, Kris Laurson, Ron Sorenson, Carolyn Rogers, Scott Gonzales, Gail Tomlinson
PARTS SUPPLY! William Snyder
Today's Riddle
What are politically enthusiastic robins known for?
Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com 
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