Cafeteria Breakdown: The Inside Scoop on What’s What at Hall High School’s Lunchroom

Max Kershen, Greg Katzman, Eva Astrachan, and Matt Goldfarb

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Do you ever get hungry? The answer should be yes unless of course you’re the terminator here to murder Sarah Connor. For those of us who get a rumbly tummy, choosing what to eat at school can be a difficult decision. 

There are so many options, sometimes it gets overwhelming. Every student has their preferences, and while the Nachos Grande seems to be the out right favorite, there is a lot that goes into the school lunch system that you may not know about. 

Fernanda, the school cafeteria manager, would like to tell everyone, “come down and keep buying lunch from us!” There is a lot that goes into the school lunch system, and Fernanda, without a doubt, would agree. 

Well-known lunch lady Fran has been voted best lunch lady for two years straight, and is proud of her three decades of working at Hall High School. Throughout her time here at Hall, Fran has tried quite a few of the school lunches, but she often eats the salad bar

. On the other hand, she says that the popcorn chicken is the most popular among the kids, and chips are definitely a favorite snack. Just this fall, apple cider was introduced, and Fran says that it sells out very quickly each day.

Gregory Katzman
Senior Seamus O’Connell is with his precious juice, that is very popular this fall.

Even though the cafeteria makes a new meal every day, many students tend to only buy snacks. Senior Sami Farber identifies as one of those students, “I like to wait until I go home to eat.”

 Farber usually buys snacks from the cafe because she does not like the meal options. Farber also brought up an interesting point about school cafeteria usage, “I go to the cafe to hang with friends.” 

Fellow senior Robbie Barrieau says, “I occasionally go to the cafe period two” Second period is Barrieau’s free period. Students, especially the upperclassmen with free periods, use the cafe as an advantage for visiting friends and people they do not see in the day. Even if students are not buying the school lunch, the snack options and cafeteria are still very popular amongst the student body.

Max Kershen
Any students flood the cafeteria everyday to see friends, buy snacks, and of course, eat!

We are all very familiar with the healthiness of the school cafeteria’s selection, however that was not always the case. During the early 2000’s, cafeteria food was very different from how it is today. Fried french fries, non low fat chips, and real tater tots to name a few big ticket items. 

However, when December 13, 2010 rolled around, students across the country saw a significant change within school cafeterias. This was a result of President Barack Obama signed the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.” 

The Food and Nutrition Service Department of the U.S. Department of Agriculture states the distinct purpose of the act, “… to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children.”(USDA) Nutrition requirements were now legally enforced, which for the kids who depend on this food there may be a big impact on their overall health.

While eating food is great and all, a lot of students take their consistently full lunch accounts for granted. In fact, many students receive lunch through the free and reduced lunch program. According to the West Hartford Public Schools’ “School Profile and Performance Report” from the 2016-2017 school year, 15% of students qualify for the program. 

However, many participants of free and reduced meal programs across the country may be losing their accessibility to this program.

President Trump recently proposed a plan to limit the number of people on federal food stamps, which also provides students with qualifications for reduced meal pricing at school. Erin Richards of USA Today stated, “the proposal could imperil a special provision some high-poverty schools use to provide universal free meals to all students without collecting any paperwork.” (Richards)

 Free and reduced lunch is an essential program in America’s schools, and hopefully, the students of Hall will not lose their qualifications due to possible legislation.

Although school lunches have changed over time, and many people across the country may not have access to them, let’s just remember one thing: the Nachos Grande slaps.