Free for All: Fixing School Food in America

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 66%)
Est. Return Date: 09/20/2014
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.49
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 82%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $4.49   
  • New (6) from $15.98   
  • Used (15) from $4.49   


"In her extraordinarily well-thought-out, beautifully written, sympathetic, and compelling book, Jan Poppendieck makes clear that Free for All has two meanings: how pressures to reduce the cost of school meals put our children's health at risk, and how best to solve this problem—universal school meals. Anyone who reads this book will find the present school lunch situation beyond unacceptable. Free for All is a call for action on behalf of America's school kids, one that we all need to join. I will be using this book in all my classes."—Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics

"President Obama has promised to end childhood hunger in America by the year 2015. He and his team should read Jan Poppendieck's new book Free for All. Her simple premise is that hunger is the enemy of education. She makes a persuasive case for the federal government to provide nutritious free school lunch and breakfast to every school child in America as a major step to end childhood hunger, reduce obesity and a whole range of nutrition related diseases and to improve the education of our children at the same time. Now, for the first time in my 35 years of fighting hunger we have a president who has pledged to actually do it starting with children and a book that provides the roadmap for an important part of the journey. Anyone who cares about our children should read this book."—Bill Ayres, Co-Founder and Executive Director of WHY (World Hunger Year)

Free For All is an essential resource for anyone interested in school food reform. Janet Poppendieck has taken on a topic of extraordinary complexity and produced a comprehensive and engaging analysis of how the current system came to be, why it is so resistant to change, and what we can do to improve it. Throughout she rejects the scapegoating, moralism, and quick fixes that characterize so much of the current debate over school food. Instead, she offers insightful structural analysis, engaging interviews with front-line food service personnel, and colorful accounts of visits to lunch rooms across the nation. Free For All looks beyond local success stories, calling for a national program redesign that challenges us all to rethink the role of school food policy within the larger food system. What Upton Sinclair's The Jungle was to food safety regulation at the beginning of the last century, Poppendieck's Free for All may well be for school food reform at the start of the new century.”—Timothy D. Lytton, Angela and Albert Farone Distinguished Professor of Law, Albany Law School

“Janet Poppendieck's Free for All is a timely and extremely thoughtful call for a sane, just, and healthy school food agenda for America's children. Complex yet clear, vivid and engrossing, Free for All should be required reading for relevant courses in sociology, education, social work, and public health. It is truly food for thought for students, community activists, and policy makers.”—Ruth Sidel, PhD, Author of Unsung Heroines: Single Mothers and the American Dream

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews


“Meticulously researched, patiently explicated, potentially groundbreaking. . . . Should be required reading for everyone who eats food, buys food, has kids, or cares about nutrition.”
The Washington Monthly - Michael O'Donnell

“Sophisticated and nuanced.”
Gastronomica - Lisa Sasson

“[An] excellent, informative book. . . . Poppendieck’s research is extensive and meaningful.”
Teaching Sociology - Heather Sullivan-Caitlin

“A masterful work of public sociology that is likely to play an important role.”
Sarah Halzack
…[Poppendieck] argues convincingly that lunches should be free for all students, a measure that would remove shame from the equation for those who need the program while cutting costs associated with determining who qualifies for free or reduced-price meals. By illuminating how Congress, big agriculture, local school boards and even parents affect what shows up in the cafeteria, this well researched book makes a strong case for retooling school lunch menus nationwide.
—The Washington Post
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520269880
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 1/10/2011
  • Series: California Studies in Food and Culture
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,442,740
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Poppendieck is Professor of Sociology at Hunter College, City University of New York. She is the author of Sweet Charity? Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement and Breadlines Knee Deep in Wheat: Food Assistance in the Great Depression.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: In Search of School Food

1. School Food 101
2. Food Fights: A Brief History
3. Penny Wise, Pound Foolish: What's Driving the Menu?
4. How Nutritious Are School Meals?
5. The Missing Millions: Problems of Participation
6. Hunger in the Classroom: Problems of Access
7. Free, Reduced Price, Paid: Unintended Consequences
8. Local Heroes: Fixing School Food at the Community Level

Conclusion: School Food at the Crossroads

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014


    Name: Hanon Sakuraba, but L like to be called Hanon Sweet.<p>
    Gender: &female<p>
    Age: 17<p>
    Height: *wittle kitty blush* 4"9<p>
    Appearance: Long deep maroon colored hair, deep gray eyes, and pale-skin.<p>
    Wears: dresses, uniforms, and long shirts. Hmpf.<p>
    Persona: shy at first, then fiery and daring.<p>
    Other: Beware. I hug a lot and have quite the number of pistols in my handbag.<p>
    Crush: Pssh.<p>
    ~Hanon Sweet

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Diabla, Hawke, and Kitee

    Diabla: she is a tough character who wears a red dress. She has peculiar orange eyes. She has black hair with red tips. She eats mostly potatoes and loves setting off smoke bombs and burning things. She is thirty. <br> Hawke: he is her brother. Hawke has brown hair and blue eyes, he is very queit and his sister, also queit, does most of the talking. He gets very interested in thing like watches, spoons, feathers, and pots. Especially pots. He is twenty-five. <br> Kitee: she has blond hair and is seven years old. She is very shy and loves cats. She never walks. She has at least five cats following her everywhere and talks to cats instead of people, except her older brother and sister. D&H&lil'k &female&star&hearts

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014


    Skyler Marie her Skyy only.....warning she will punch you if you dont
    /).- im a female
    5'7" and weighs 95-100lbs
    Long straight black hair to her waist. Her bangs hang in her eyes slightly. She is tan. Her eyes are ice blue with black and dark blue flecks. She is slender but still has curves and muscle. She has a nose piercing and a tongue piercing. She has guages. A tattoo on the inside of her wrist and a tattoo on her back
    Meet me to know my persona
    Other ask me

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014


    Hieght: 6 feet and 7 inches. <p> Weight: 132.4 pounds. <p> Outfit: A black leather jacket, blue jeans and black boots. <p> Other: Crush: none. <p> Eye color: blue. <p> Hair color: Brown. <p> Skin color: White. Any questions, just ask.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014


    Name: Jace. Gender: Male. Looks: Brown Hair, Green Mischevious Eyes, Tall, Muscular, Tanned. Persona: A New Yorker Guy Who Calls All Men 'Boss' And All Women 'Doll' Or 'Dollface'. Rather Agressive At Times But Can Be Cool. Always Has Cigarettes And Toothpicks And A Comb On Him. Likes: Girls But Hates Relationships. Will Bang A Girl About Twice Then Stop Giving A Crap So Ladies Beware. Other: Meet Me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)