Chicago Elementary School Reportedly Bans Lunches Brought From Home

A public elementary school is under fire from some students and parents for banning school lunches brought from home, the Chicago Tribune reports -- a report the school district denies.

Little Village Academy, a public school on Chicago's West Side, prohibits students from bringing homemade lunches unless the child has a medical excuse, according to the newspaper, which quotes school officials saying the rule is meant to encourage healthful eating, as students are forced to eat lunches served in the school cafeteria instead.

School Principal Elsa Carmona told the newspaper that she created the policy six years ago after observing students bringing "bottles of soda and flaming hot chips" from home.

"Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school," she told the Tribune. "It's about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It's milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception."

The school district, however, denies that such a policy is in place. In an e-mail statement sent to, Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Monique Bond said that Elsa was "misquoted" in the newspaper's report.

"We do not have a policy that prohibits students from bringing lunch/brown bag from home," said Bond. "This principal was misquoted."

"Over the last 6 years, she [Elsa] has tried to promote healthy choices beyond the classroom environment, hoping to encourage healthier options, but has never stated that parents were not allowed to send their children to school with a home lunch."

Click for more on the school lunch controversy at Little Village Academy from the Chicago Tribune