SELECTED STORY EXCERPTS
PADMA LAKSHMI, NYC + INDIA
In India, my food was fine and normal, but when I was in America it was weird. Everyone else had baloney sandwiches with the crusts cut off or these little peanut butter and jellies, and I had this funky Indian food that looked weird and smelled very strong. Kids would taunt me with all the mean-kid things you'd expect; they were not shy at all.
MOURAD LAHLOU, MOROCCO
For me growing up, the words "school" and "lunch" were never put together. There was school, where you go to get an education, and lunch, which you ate at home with your family.
Lunch would be on the table at 12:30, and no one could start eating until everyone in the family had arrived.
DANIELA PEREZ, VENEZUELA
One day one of the girls saw the photo I had of my brother and said, "Oh my god, I love that picture, can I have it?" I said OK, if she paid me. That week every day I had lunch twice, my mom's and then the cafeteria's.
"School Lunch is one of the core reasons I became a chef."
"Every kid had some good item to trade and I had f@*%'ing applesauce
"My dad was the founder and Ringmaster of the Big Apple Circus. I went to the One Ring Schoolhouse from pre-K all the way through high school and ate lunch at the cookhouse."