Asked to describe the quality of her school cafeteria's food last year, Sophia Santiago wrinkled her nose. She narrowed her eyes. She chose her words carefully.
"The pizza tasted like rubber," said Sophia, 11, a sixth-grader at Juniata Park Academy. "I am so serious."
"Kids would just throw their whole lunch away," added fifth-grader Joseph Hamas, 10.
Squeezed by increasingly brutal budgets, the Philadelphia School District in recent years has moved to close dozens of full-service cafeterias, switching those schools to meals prepared in a warehouse in Brooklyn and trucked into Philadelphia.