Often, the daily lunch at Mendon has been called “gross” because of lack of the more tasteful food. They’ve been replaced by dry vegetables, fruit cups, and whole grain breads and rice. There is less variety lately and increasingly frequently, the healthy foods are being forced upon students. One year, the lunch ladies even made students take fruits with each lunch; we didn’t have a choice. In result, most bring their own lunch but nevertheless there are still frequent buyers. It’s true that as students advance in their school career, there is more variety in food, and high school students have more privileges than younger students; but there should be more variety; we should be able to make our own choices, accepting the consequences.
Paulette Vangellow, the director of Food Service, and Elaine Boch, the Food Service Secretary are key decision makers in what kind of foods go into the school districts menus (Key People). They try to give us the healthiest, tastiest lunch possible keeping equal balance. The depleting choices in school lunch are due to the idea that if kids eat healthier at school, students eat healthier at home too. They pick better choices in foods with more nutrition. Basically everything served is aimed to be healthier, even seemingly unhealthy foods. Brown rice is used instead of white and romaine lettuce is used in salads. Whole grain foods are promoted, all breads are whole wheat, pancakes and French toast are whole grain. Even the foods that seem unhealthy have a healthy benefit. Foods that seem unhealthy such as stuffed crust pizza and corndogs are whole grain (School Lunches). Also, they decide where the pizza and bagels come from. The school pizza and bagels come from the highest bidder after the school sends out bids to each restaurant (Bidding). The key players have most control over what foods students eat, but not all of it.
As the class of 2014 has moved up from elementary school to high school, there have been many changes in the school lunches. In elementary schools, cookies the size of a student’s head used to be served along with ice cream. They got rid of the cookies for being too unhealthy which caused uproar from the frequent buyers. The ice cream stayed throughout middle school but in high school, it’s been eliminated from our choices. In middle school, however, instead of ridding the cafeteria of unhealthy items the lunch ladies forced students to take an apple or a fruit cup to try to force new, healthier eating habits upon students. This backfired as students didn’t eat it wasting trash can upon trash can of food. Food Services came up with a new tactic to replace the unsuccessful one; Food Services allowed parents to restrict what students could buy at the register. Doing this was more successful but didn’t change things since most parents don’t know about it. So now each year food choices are depleting and next year Snapple drinks may even be gone. Mendon High students are lucky to have sodas even though they are locked in vending machines after all lunch periods. Students are even