The Blue and Gold

School Lunch

Julian DaValle, Author

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Lunch wasn’t served in schools until 1946. The National School Lunch Program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman, as a way to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation’s children. Lunches must meet Federal requirements, and they must offer free or reduced price lunches to eligible children. The School Lunch Program makes it possible for schools to serve nutritious, inexpensive lunches to students each day (USDA Food and Nutrition Service). However, here at Bowditch, we wonder about the “nutritious” aspect of the food, and if nutritious means tasteless. Further, it is not only the quality and taste of the food that is a problem, it is the length of the line, and speed of service that is a concern.


Many of our school lunches aren’t appetizing. Students interviewed stated, “The pizza needs to be improved because it tastes like cardboard.” When asked about how the pizzas are made, Ms. Elmore replied, “I don’t make the pizza, it comes pre-made, and I just heat it.” This is a problem because people don’t like to eat food if they don’t know the ingredients. Due to lunches not being appetizing, students want to see some new items on the list. Some requested items are sushi, ramen, and better salads and desserts. However, Ms. Elmore said, “…there are nutrition guidelines we have to follow, so we can’t add certain foods.” This is for safety and health reasons because the district doesn’t want students to get sick, especially kids with food allergies. Even though the district doesn’t allow ice cream, Bowditch sells cookies (Shhhh…don’t tell).


In addition to the food quality issues, the length of the lunch line is a big problem. For students who have 4th period class on the far side of school and want to buy school lunch, they have to run to the lines or risk purchasing their lunch late. If a student buys lunch late, they have to eat in a hurry, on the way to or outside of their next class or during Silent Reading. Eating in a rush is risky because it is a choking hazard or could cause a stomach ache. Because of these issues, when a student is late to the line, they often choose to skip lunch altogether and go hungry for the rest of the day. Skipping lunch causes lack of nutrition, makes a student grouchy and unproductive, and can cause headache and lethargy; not good for productive learning or a student’s “health and well being.”

What causes these long lines? Lack of volunteers? Slow workers? Not enough lines? Not enough windows? In fact, there are only five windows for 150 students on average every day. If every student takes one minute, the students in the back 10% of the line only have half the lunch period left to eat and relax. This is unfair and inefficient. Ms. Elmore is open to suggestions on how to handle these issues. My personal recommendation is to add another window, and double the workers. Please, stay behind the yellow line.

Please send a letter to The Sail under “Submit a Letter,” to respond with your own concerns and ideas about lunches at Bowditch.

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School Lunch