Summit Denali students review school lunches

By Nathaniel Medley, Joshua Schermann and Caelum Villarreal

Staff Writers

School lunch has been a common debate in schools across the U.S. While some students find the lunches inedible, others are able to eat it every day of the week. In order to find out how the Summit Denali community views the food, student journalists interviewed a few students of different grades. We found the students believe the lunches, though usually efficient and accessible, lack quality food.

Students exit the high school building PHOTO CREDIT: Nathaniel Medley

Summit Denali junior Linus Schermann compared the school lunch to other schools he’s been at: “It is worse than Buchser Middle School, Cabrillo Middle School and Santa Clara High School.” 

Despite the food being lower quality, he noted that getting lunch at school is typically faster and easier than making it at home. This is because many students don’t have the time or resources to make lunch at home. School lunches have been free for the 2021-22 school year, allowing for those who had been negatively impacted by the pandemic to be able to have at least two meals a day.

He also explained the benefits of school lunches, saying it “provides students with free food” and “allows for people to engage with each other.” On average, he reported getting the school lunch three times a week. 

As NYCFoodPolicy.org reports, “California will invest $650 million in ongoing funds by 2022-2023 to permanently continue offering two free meals per day to all public school students, regardless of income.” By having lunches that are accessible by all students, everyone in the school community can benefit.

Another student had similar experiences with the food being better at other schools. When asked how they could improve the lunches at Summit Denali, freshman Hanaya Maaz, said, “the taste and the options.” About once a week when she gets food from the menu, her usual choice is cereal. She described the school lunch as “unique.” 

Summit Denali freshman Chloe Fagan said, “It makes it so that parents that are busy don’t have to cook for their kids and allows for children to bike or walk to school easier without having to carry a lunch bag as well as their backpacks.” She also added that since students don’t have lockers, they would have to carry their lunch bags all around the school.

A sandwich on a plate PHOTO CREDIT: Free SVG

Despite getting the food regularly, she expressed distaste towards the pizza. When asked how she chose from the menu, she said, “Whatever sounds best that day. Never the pizza, the pizza is terrible.” She added that the lunches are, “a community building activity to discuss how awful the pizza is. And sometimes it’s a pretty nice meal. Tastes good(most of the time).”

In the future of school lunches at Summit Denali, she said she wanted to see, “No pizza and maybe to speed up the lunch line… we could have two stations and two lines so that kids get to eat faster. Also I think it would be great if we had more lunch time.” 

Featured Image at the top of the post:

Students get lunch in the cafeteria PHOTO CREDIT: Nathaniel Medley

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