Not eating lunch at preschool

My preschooler basically never eats the lunch I pack for him, no matter what's in it. At most he'll eat a few bites. It seems like he does not like eating near the other kids and the other day he told us he couldn't eat because there was a bad smell. He often asks the teachers for privacy during lunchtime and they're good about setting him up at a table far from everyone when they are able to. It does not matter what foods I pack, how cute I make them, etc - he likes the foods, but just does not like eating them at school. 

When I was a kid I also basically never ate lunch at school because the cafeteria smelled bad and I did not like being squeezed in with all the other kids and their lunches and open-mouth chewing. I was fine, I just ate a lot of snacks after school and survived, although it wasn't nutritionally ideal. I have not mentioned this to my child, because it seems hard to empathize on this subject while also encouraging him to eat. So, for example, I probably shouldn't highlight the fact that I was totally fine and it was not really a big deal that I didn't eat at school although that's what I'm trying to tell myself about him. 

But I would really like for my kid to be able to eat at school. When we pick him up on days when he hasn't eaten anything he's super tired and grumpy. Anyone had a similar situation and figured it out? 

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