Denton Student's Letter Prompts Better, Healthier School Lunches

A Denton elementary school student is proving that even a 10-year-old can make a difference, if you speak up.

Jaida Klimpel is a fifth grader at Stephens Elementary School. She likes volleyball, cello and hanging with her friends. What she doesn't like is school lunch.

Klimpel recently wrote an e-mail to Denton Independent School District administrators, complaining about the sometimes "horrid" taste of school lunches. She feels they lack taste, and Jaida says she decided to write the letter after eating some chicken sliders that didn't agree with her.

"When I was eating one day, I told my friend I'm gonna have to report something," she said.

Using her grandmother's email account, Jaida typed her letter and sent it to Mia Price, president of the Denton ISD school board.

"The next day my grandma was like, 'They wrote you back,'" she said. "And I was like, 'Really?'"

Price checked her e-mail that night, and responded, promptly. She also forwarded Jaida's message to Chris Bomberger, the district's child nutrition director.

"I'm not sure I've ever received a letter from a fifth grader," said Price, who credits Jaida for not just pointing out a problem, but also offering solutions.

"I told her lunch was an important meal, and it's important for students to be able to enjoy it," Price said. "I thought, this young lady is gonna go far."

In response to her letter, a student advisory committee will be assembled to discuss school lunches in Denton ISD.

Jaida says not all her school lunches are bad, but she would like healthier choices. If not — no doubt someone will hear about it.

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