In some public school systems the school's lunch menu is regulated and chosen by the county schoolboard to assure that students receive their recommended daily quantities of nutrition and vitamins. Lunch menus are printed up in calendar format by the county and each public school under the administration is required to serve the meals according to the calendar. For example, if the menu says that Monday the 19th's selection is "cheese pizza", then every public school in the county will serve cheese pizza on Monday the 19th. However, since some students do not buy their lunch from the school kitchen everyday, there will inevitably be some food items left unserved at the end of the week. The county can't afford to waste valuable funding on throwing out leftovers, so the concept of School Choice was born.

School Choice day came up to three times a month when I was in elementary school in the 1980s. The menu for that day read, simply, "School Choice". On this day the school kitchen would bring out all those leftovers, reheat them, and serve them randomly. The kid in front of you might luck out and get the pizza, you might get the chicken sandwich, and the poor kid behind you would get a big plate of broccoli normandy. It was all random, all economized, and all risky. The lunchladies typically honored no requests and students wound up with whatever random meal came out of the oven for lunch.

As school systems began leaving the standardized menu behind and switching to a la carte systems of serving food, the School Choice day was commonly abandoned. Nevertheless, it still lives on in school systems where a single entity chooses the menus for an entire district of schools.

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