School Lunches: The Good, the Bad, and the Unlikely

School Lunches: The Good, the Bad, and the Unlikely

By Alex Chan ‘18

Photographed by Alex Chan'18
Photographed by Alex Chan’18

School lunches have been offered to us by the government and are currently provided to all public school students. Even if a student is unable to purchase a meal, he or she can qualify for free or reduced lunch. Isn’t that a great deal? It can be for some people, but it may not be the case for others. Some believe that the food that is provided by the public school system just doesn’t suit their needs and seek change.

Jasmine Lau ‘18 said, “School lunch should consist of a bigger portion than what is actually given. Currently, the portion offered is not even considered a full meal.”

Sometimes food that is offered at the lunch lines are just not enough for the students. One perfect example would be breadsticks. On a particular day, on one of the lunch lines, the provided lunch consisted of two six inch breadsticks, salsa, and spinach on the side. Two breadsticks and a few sides do not seem like a sufficient amount of food for a high school student. Although there are plenty of other meals that are slightly larger potions,  they are still considered on little quantity; students are expected to be satisfied with such questionable portions.

“I think that we should be able to go outside to get our own lunch. Some people have to pay for school lunch and I think that they can get more food outside. Also, there are only limited types of meals offered during school lunch. Meanwhile, you can just go outside to get what you want,” said Xiang Lin ‘18.

To add even more criticism, food offered by the public school system isn’t even satisfying, and by satisfaction we mean delicious. Sometimes eating the food offered by the school makes you stop and think, “What in the world does this taste like?” It’s hard to figure out whether the lunch served by the schools is done with care or not. One prime example, pizza was served in school one particular day. When students received their pizzas, the cheese on the pizza was burnt. Heating the pizza wasn’t even too difficult of a task to accomplish. All that was required was they they place the tray with the pizza and put it into the large oven for a set amount of time.

“I actually love school lunch. It tastes good to me 9/10 times, ” said Angkan Baidya.

It is easy to judge school lunches from a student’s point of view without looking at it from another perspective. When looking at school meals through the lens of the government, it is nearly impossible to resolve all the issues that are present. With the U.S government spending tax dollars to pay worker’s wages and provide military protection, the amount of money allocated to other parts of America is astronomical. On top of that, there are projects funded by the government such as the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances (SED) which receives a 49 million dollars. To make it even worse, the US national debt continues to increase rapidly and is currently at 19 trillion dollars. For the U.S. to focus on trivial matters such as school meals would be a miracle and unlikely.

It may seem hard to eat the regularly served school lunches, but the food provided does fit all of the required food groups. There are breads, rice, meats, vegetables, and fruit. If the options served at school are not to your liking, feel free to pack your own customizable lunch! As students, we should be grateful that the public school system offers food at a lower price compared to outside city food.

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