The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday May 26th

Letter: ​Feeding prisoners is not shameful


I was disappointed to read “The Real Price of Food,” which argues that we should avoid business with UNC’s food service provider because “Aramark supplies food for public and private prisons,” and thus “If you’re against Aramark for their prison involvement,” you should “speak out with your dollars.”

While there may be more to the story, the intended argument is clear: that it is somehow shameful to be in the business of feeding prisoners.

I suspect that many at UNC have no real notion of what prison is like. It is this ignorance that fosters the belief that anything associated with prisons is inherently shameful.

Let me challenge you to consider what it is really like in prison. The entire system is designed to add to your punishment by making you uncomfortable in any way possible.

A lot of people pay lip service to the idea that prisons should be about rehabilitation, yet turn around and think that prisoners aren’t deserving of nourishing food.

I’ll tell you what the real shame is. The shame is that prison food is so terrible and un-nourishing that any association with it (for those who have a choice of what to eat) is considered unwholesome.

We absolutely need good food service providers for prisons. Personally, I do not know how Aramark stacks up against other prison food providers in the U.S.

But I think to create an argument against Aramark, one should look carefully at their own biases first.

Prof. Amy Oldenburg

Physics and Astronomy

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