Op-Ed on Lunch

Created and designed by Abigail Vargas

Created and designed by Abigail Vargas

Throughout our school lives, many of us have had to eat school lunch, the dry patties on the burger, the nearly frozen PB&J sandwiches, the flavorless side of mashed potatoes with an unappetizing scoop of what is supposed to be a turkey- is your mouth watering yet?- Point is, it can be off-putting for some at first glance, and for the lucky kids who bring their lunch from home, this article isn’t for you.

There has always been controversy regarding school lunch; some think it’s good, others not so much. Many kids rely on school lunches for their daily food income. As much as “29.6 million students each day,” are fed according to the School Nutrition Association and National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

With the schools now providing free meals since the start of quarantine, handing out free lunches even during online learning, many feel this should have been done sooner.

“It’s a shame that before they couldn’t do that and kids that couldn’t access food would starve,” said Eliza Contreras, a junior from Arizona. “ It just proves that they’ve always been able to do it but wouldn’t. I’m glad they offer free food now.“

Especially for times like these where mostly everything in California is expensive, from housing to groceries, “[It] may be financially hard for some families due to Covid-19 which then makes these free lunches a really good help,” states Alex Lopez, a junior from Mt. SAC ECA. “This can mostly support students who are in a rough time at the moment which I find to be a very generous gift given.”

Many students have expressed the same thoughts, but as we see now schools are featuring a food shortage due to issues with distribution stemming from the pandemic. “My school runs out of it [food] a lot so sometimes you just end up with a PB&J sandwich (which isn’t the worst),” mentions Evelyn Rodriguez, a junior from West Covina High school. Sadly those with food allergies could be affected and left without a meal.

On the other hand, many students just don’t like what the school is offering, “I rather pick what I eat at home than what the menu lets me pick at school,” says Isaac Lichtman a junior at Mt. SAC ECA.

The school offers a variety of different options for students to pick from, as one student puts it “I think the food is mediocre. It’s not the best but its also not terrible. My school offers different options every day and most of it looks edible,” says Eliza Contreras. Though plenty of us have heard those school lunch horror stories having personally experienced a half-frozen PB&J sandwich for lunch.

Plenty expressed this thought saying, “I think the food is alright. There are days where the food is really good and there are other days where it isn’t,” shares Monse Morales, another junior at Mt. SAC ECA.

While others just enjoy a taste from home, “I like bringing lunch from home because I prefer eating the meals that my mom cooks. I also can better watch what I eat if I know what I’m packing,” mentions Dyanna Garcia, a junior at Mt. SAC ECA.

The majority of us can agree that the USDA needs to work towards raising the standard when it comes to school food, especially when they are preparing it. Plenty of students are grateful for the free help they have been given during these hard times. Hopefully, we can see change and improvement in school food going forward.