Oklahoma high school students claim food in cafeteria was spoiled

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City Public Schools is taking advantage of a federal initiative to give all of their students free lunch, but many students say the type of food they're getting in the lunch line is not edible.

"I like that it was free, but it doesn't mean it has to be bad,” Malik Mcconnell, a high school senior at Southeast High School, said.

“This has been going on all four years that I've been here. It's not an uncommon thing to find mold or raw chicken or straight up nastiness,” Ilan Waller, a high school senior at Southeast High School, said.

Waller says he gets hungry because he doesn't want to eat the food that is served in the cafeteria.

"At the end of the day, I'm starving because I have to go to practice after school and that lasts like three hours,” he said.

Waller posted photos to his Facebook page  on Aug. 25 that purports to show a moldy orange and spoiled milk.

Malik McConnell claims his peanut butter sandwich was partially frozen two days ago.

“It was stuck together and it was wet, and I still ate it because I was hungry,” McConnell said.

Oklahoma City Public Schools saw Waller's Facebook post last week and launched an investigation into it.

"We found no issues during the investigation, having verified that the temperature in milk coolers and our rotation processes are being followed and that our fruit, which is the highest quality fruit available on the market, is being inspected every day,” Beth Harrison, chief communications officer at Oklahoma City Public Schools, said.

District officials say they believe it's an isolated incident but say they are doing follow-up training to be cautious.

Waller believes he needs to speak up for those who may not be able to afford another meal.

“I get backlash from it. People saying 'They're not forcing you to eat it.' Well it's not about me. It's about everybody because some kids are forced to eat it because that's their only food,” Waller said.

The students both say they've heard about similar incidents at other schools.

A little bit of good news: Oklahoma City Public Schools say they've seen a 25 percent increase in participation since implementing the free lunch program.

District officials say they haven't had any other reported issues.