Kenosha student addresses school board over 'moldy' lunches, stress teachers face

NOW: Kenosha student addresses school board over ’moldy’ lunches, stress teachers face

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A student is speaking out, voicing his concerns about the toll the pandemic is taking on kids.

Seventeen-year-old Bradford High School junior Christopher Portillo took his concerns to the Kenosha School Board Tuesday night, hoping to see changes at school.

"I have seen some moldy food in the school lunches from elementary school, I remember asking my friends, like is this the first thing you eat in the day?" said Portillo. "And they go, 'yeah,'"

There's even an Instagram page claiming to document the issue. 

Portillo says the lunches really aren't enough, especially for kids who aren't getting food at home.

"I do know of some people that don't have a good house, don't have a lot of income, and definitely the school can provide better and more nutritional lunches that can give us more energy, because you know, food does feed the brain as well," said Portillo.

Portillo also spoke on pressures his teachers, and other teachers in the Kenosha School District, are facing. 

"A third of my teachers have broken down in front of me, first one being in middle school. I remember seeing my teacher cry, she told us what was going on in her life, how she feels," recalled Portillo.

He said allowing teachers more planning time, by maybe making lunch longer and letting older kids leave school for lunch, could be something that helps both problems in the short term.

The school district sent a statement to CBS 58. Officials say the free 'Seamless Summer Program' they're using for breakfasts and lunches is designed to reduce contact due to COVID:

"KUSD encourages students who receive an item they are unhappy with to notify a teacher or food service staff so they may receive a replacement item at the time the meal is served."

They said if people are having mental health issues, they have resources for that as well.

Portillo said he knows the district is trying, and is having a hard time dealing with COVID, but still wishes they would try new ideas.

"Actually listening and acting upon the good ideas they get from the community, or students like me, or even teachers," said Portillo.

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