The Great 'Twinkie War'

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

A footrace scheduled for last Friday may--or may not--have been the final shot in the "Twinkie War" at Metamora (Ill.) High School.

When the school board eliminated so-called junk foods from the lunch program at the school this fall, more than half of the 500 cafeteria regulars launched a "brown-bag-it protest" to persuade administrators to restore Twinkies, Ho Ho's, and other such epicurean delights to the menu.

But rather than crumble in the face of an economic boycott, says Gregory A. Christi, the school's principal, administrators tried to impress upon protesters the benefits of good nutrition and physical fitness.

Before students could be swayed, however, their well-organized boycott of the $1.25-a-day school lunch caught the attention of a local radio station. The station not only asked listeners to weigh in on the controversy, but suggested to the St. Louis-based manufacturer of Twinkies that it provide its snack cakes free to the deprived students of Metamora High.

Not a company to miss such a baked-to-order public-relations opportunity, the Continental Baking Company agreed to send over a truckload of Twinkies, a bemused Mr. Christi notes.

But, says Mr. Christi, when a local apple grower stepped into the fray and offered to send over a truckload of fruit as an alternative to cupcakes, students came up with an idea they believe will demonstrate that a healthy diet supplemented with snack cakes, candy, and soda has no ill effects.

The students challenged Ken Maurer, the district's 43-year-old superintendent of schools, to a one-mile race, now being called the "Apple Cupcake Run." "We prefer not to think of the run as a competition," cautions Mr. Christi, "but rather as a cooperative effort to bring nutritional issues to the forefront. It's not the Twinkies against the Apple Heads."

In accepting the challenge, Mr. Maurer told students that he would not race, only "run with them." Mr. Christi, conceding that there are some very fast runners in his school, says that, because he was scheduled to "work crowd control" at the race, he would not be donning his running shoes.

But regardless of who wins the good-natured nutrition competition, Metamora will not go back to its old ways. The school is not in business to make money from the state-supported lunch program, says Mr. Christi, and has no intention of relenting in its pursuit of good health.--jw

Vol. 09, Issue 09

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >