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Cafeteria Lunch

For most students, lunch is highly anticipated due to students being able to hang out and eat with friends. Many schools such as SBHS provide many healthy food options. According to the food service of the SBUSD calendar, some lunches given include turkey enchilada casserole, BBQ pulled pork sub sandwich, spaghetti w/ meatballs, cheese pizza, etc.

Everyone knows how important it is for students to eat. School lunch is very critical for students’ health and well being. It’s also very important to low income students who may not have any other source of nutrition. Eating lunch gives students  nutrition needed to learn. There’s been research that shows how school lunch has helped students with insecurity, obesity rates, and poor health. 

And although there are many benefits to free school lunch my experience with school lunch isn’t that great. In one of my elementary schools, Washington Elementary School, they didn’t have the best choices of food. Some days I would go  without eating lunch because of how bad it was. All I could think about was how hungry I was, causing me to feel very tired and not focus. I know that students have many different experiences with school lunch. Another example includes Santa Barbara Junior High School. They would give us multiple choices, giving options of getting food from the lunch truck, a salad, or smoothie etc. With these options I was able to get nourishment which helped me focus and be less stressed and tired. Then, coming back to school I was expecting the same from this school, but I’m having the same experience as I did when I was in elementary.

There are many benefits to eating lunch. There are days where I don’t eat the school’s lunch and it distracts me from focusing on my school work. Since freshmen can’t leave school for lunch, which they should be able to, I can’t get a good lunch that I would enjoy. When it’s those days where they do give good food I feel good and energetic. 

I have felt the need to pack my own lunch. But I wonder ‘what if some kids aren’t financially stable enough to pack themselves lunch every week’. There are low income students everywhere in our school and lunch needs to be provided for them. This is the district’s job, while the staff working at the cafeteria are doing their best, yet the food isn’t good. Around campus I’ve heard most students saying that lunch isn’t appetizing, or lunch wasn’t as good as it should be. Some students also think that it’s not enough to get them full, as they do give small portions of food. 

I talked to a few students about what they think of the school lunch. The freshman say the amount of food that is given isn’t enough. When I talked to a sophomore they said, “it’s bad” and it doesn’t fill them up. They told me that the food needs to improve. Most juniors say that “it’s alright”. Senior Andre Battle, said that some days he likes the food. He also stated that “Most of the time I just leave for lunch.” 

I think we can all agree that the school lunch needs to improve. Also the portions that are being served are very small. Underclassmen either need to be able to leave so we can get food that we actually eat, but for the low income students or for students like me that want to save money and not have to be walking back and forth to get a decent lunch walk. Overall, I believe school lunch should be improved upon for the wellbeing of all students. 

Author’s Note: Whatever has been said in this article is not to be blamed on the lunch staff.

[Image Credit Neftaly Salgado]


  • Neftaly Salgado

    Hola! My name is Neftaly and I’m in 9th grade. I love dancing! The reason I’m writing for the paper is because I love writing and reading!

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