Grab and Go Lunches are Not the Best Alternative

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Media by Carter Van Buskirk

Students grab lunch on their way out of school.

The district has assembled a new grab and go system for distributing food which will allow in-person students to continue receiving lunch and breakfast.

The system will eliminate the large crowds of students, which were a normal encounter during traditional school lunches. In previous school years, the lunch lines were quite long and it often took me up to 10 minutes to just get my lunch during a 30-minute lunch break.

Assistant Principal Dr. Richard Regina said the grab and go system is the best way for students to be socially distant and still get their lunch.

“Students can grab it while leaving and the lunches are pre-wrapped and in a bag,” Dr. Regina said.
The district has also worked to make student’s health and food intake a priority.

In an email sent out on Friday, Nov. 6, about information on the return to school, Principal Dr. Steve Hankins said that breakfast and lunch will remain free until June of 2021.

Students who rely on school lunch and are financially struggling will be benefited by this change.

The school is also planning to provide select items everyday including a vegetarian choice. With this, students, like myself, who are vegetarian will also have the ability to eat school lunch.

The grab and go lunch will be provided after school ends at 1:26 PM. This differs from traditional lunch shifts between 11-12 PM.

Grab and go lunches also get rid of exciting aspects of school such as interacting with friends outside of the classroom.”

Yet, the new system interferes with normal eating times.

Since snacks are not permitted in class, students in-person have no option but to eat after school; therefore, having lunch at the appropriate time is vital.

Grab and go lunches also get rid of exciting aspects of school such as interacting with friends outside of the classroom.

Being able to socialize during lunch is often the best part of my day at school and the new lunch system removes that.

However, it is unreasonable to fill the cafeteria with large groups of students just for social hour while disregarding how the situation could be detrimental to the students’ health.

It is something that we will learn as we go, but there’s a chance on day one that we will have a lot of lunches left over because not everyone will grab one.”

— Dr. Regina

Grab and go lunches will maintain students’ wellbeing at school; however, the alternative lunch system can potentially result in food being wasted.

Dr. Regina is also concerned about the waste of sack lunches.

“It is something that we will learn as we go, but there’s a chance on day one that we will have a lot of lunches left over because not everyone will grab one,” Dr. Regina said.

Dr. Regina said ultimately the leftover food will have to be thrown out until the cafeteria workers have a better idea of how many lunches are needed.

Looking forward, the administration should allow students a short period for snacking during class as well as socialization. Students are already taking precautions such as wiping down desks; therefore, trash and crumbs around the room shouldn’t be an issue.

Administration should create a mandatory form which in-person students will fill out daily answering whether they are eating school lunch the following day. The form will allow for a better estimate and have less food wasted.

With small changes to the grab and go system, food waste and late eating times can be prevented along with safety of students still prioritized.