The pandemic strikes again: Cafeteria edition

School lunches fall out of favor


Many students are disappointed in the lunch offerings this year. Rules and regulations surrounding safety measures during the pandemic have limited the options that can be made available to students during lunch.

Since the October 12 implementation of a hybrid schedule, students have been going to school face-to-face and getting back into the swing of things. The adjustment has been quite easy to acclimate to for some; from the one way stairs and halls to the socially distanced classrooms. But one factor has been an unbearable one: The school lunch.
On the first day back to school from quarantine, it wasn’t hard to notice the many changes that have been put in place. Because lunch time is normally a period that involves lots of interacting and exchanging, strict adjustments had to be made to ensure the safety of students. One of the main requirements regarding school lunch is that every food item must be sealed and cannot be exposed to air. This is put into effect so that harmful vapors in the air will not be able to get onto the food and into a student’s digestive system. In fact, it is recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for food offered in a public setting to be pre-packaged before serving. However, with these requirements, the quality of school lunches have drastically decreased.
Although the rules and regulations regarding school food are important to follow, students are not receiving the favorable end of the situation. Some of the lunch menu regulars include chicken sandwiches, burgers and fish filets. These three foods have the potential to be a nutritious and delicious option for students. However, it is just the opposite. The bread buns on these items are crunchy and very hard to enjoy without struggling to bite into. Not only that, but the patties are half the size of the buns and hardened as well. In one circumstance, the macaroni and cheese side was topped with strange light colored dots that accumulated after preparation. Keeping these factors in mind, you can imagine the feelings of repulsion and disgust that some students felt.
With this problem in mind, it would be an obvious solution for students to bring their own lunch. Although students should not have to go this far to get a nutritious meal at school, it would be a wise option for students who are faced with the problem. Students have resources, such as microwaves to heat up their lunch, in both the North and South cafeterias. We must keep in mind that our cafeteria workers are doing their best to serve students while also conforming to the guidelines that are required. However, we must also realize the effect that school lunch has on students and work to better our lunch conditions.