What’s for Lunch?

A Student Perspective on School Meals

Lexi Sedlak

More stories from Lexi Sedlak

May 10, 2022

Have you ever eaten a school lunch?  Have you ever had any questions about what goes on behind the counter?  I may have some answers for you!! 😉

So, I think MANY improvements could be made to the school meals.

First of all, I don’t think students should be required to take certain thingsstudents are required to take a fruit or vegetable.  However, I believe that the students should be able to make that decision themselves.  

High schoolers are old enough to know what’s healthy and what’s not, so if we want to choose to be unhealthy and not eat a fruit or vegetable, that is our own fault.  

If you want something, you can take it.  Students should not have to take something that they won’t eat…. because they won’t eat it…. so it will get thrown away….. meaning that there will be a lot of unnecessary waste (of perfectly good food) that could easily be prevented.

Also, portion sizes are all out of whack.  Some of the meals are puny, and some are massive.  For example,  if you are craving chicken nuggets, you can only eat five for lunch.  That’s all you get.  Five.  Chicken nuggets are not very big or filling, so five does not last long, especially for growing teenagers.  

Senior Riley Rohland said, “Students should be able to get their own food.”

This poses both benefits and downfalls.  

On the positive side, if a student got their own food, he or she could control how much food they get and they know exactly how much of what foods they are going to eat, so there will not be nearly as much waste.  Everyone has a different metabolism, and everyone has different hunger levels due to what they eat at home and how much activity they get during the day.  So if students could get our own food, this could solve many problems.   

However, if we could get our own food, there would be a greater chance for germs to spread.  Unless every person sanitizes and/or cleanses their hands, germs will spread to more people at a faster rate.  As long as people thoroughly clean their hands, I think people should be allowed to get their own food buffet style.  But in reality, does every student wash or sanitize their hands before lunch?

Another issue that many students face while trying to get their lunch is the time that they have to wait in line.  

Rohland said, “ [It takes] ten minutes. It’s ok but long since that’s already like a third of lunch.”

After waiting in line for such a long time, there is hardly any time to finish lunch.  I am in lunch C, and the time I am allotted for lunch is from 11:42-12:12–but we are let out at 12:08.  I typically get my lunch around 11:55 every single day, and I am always having to scarf down my food because sometimes there is just not enough time to eat at a comfortable pace.  And on top of that, I sometimes don’t even get to finish.

Basically, we have not a lot of time to eat not a lot of food.

Another point to make on school lunches is the flavor and quality of the food that we are given.  

Not everything is the best but there are some student favorites. 

“Pizza for sure,”  said senior Nathan Glassic about what he likes.

We see a lot of pizza being served, so it’s obviously popular. But that could also be because it’s served every day.

Rohland also believes that a change should be made to the school lunches.

“There should be better options for the students to eat,” he said. 

I do agree with her statement, but being that the lunches are free because of Covid, I do think that they just kind of are what they are.  If we were paying for them, I would say that the lunches could be much better quality, but for free, I think the quality is good enough.  

In conclusion, the school lunches are not great, but they are not bad either. I think many improvements could be made to the lunches, but in the end, they are what they are and they suffice.  And they’re free right now. 🙂