Many people know that there have been changes with the school lunches because of new federal regulations, including an increase in prices and a decrease in portions.
The amount of food that high school students receive per week is 10 to 12 oz. of protein, five cups each of dairy, fruit and vegetables and 10 to 12 oz. of grains. Along with the high school, the junior high students are also affected; they receive nine to 10 oz. of protein, five cups of dairy, two and a half cups of fruits, three and three-fourths cups of vegetables, and eight to 10 oz. of grains.
Nicky Newman, one of the cooks, said, “[We aren’t allowed to put out] frozen strawberries or anything high in trans-fat or saturated fat.”
Despite the changes, some students, like senior Cheyenne Deyo, said they did not notice a change.
Deyo said, “I don’t think they’re really much different, but the quality is better.”
While Deyo and some of the other 60 high school students who were surveyed do not mind the changes much, 72 percent said that receiving less food has a negative effect on them, and 75 percent said it affects their energy during the end of the day and during athletic practices. Because of the changes in portions and pricing, 82 percent said they think it is unfair to students, and 47 percent would rather eat a la carte.
Sophomore Lyla Lenauer said, “It’s not fair to cut our lunches. It will not make a difference because we only eat one meal at school and two at home, where some kids will still eat unhealthy.”
Along with Lenauer, junior Jojo Harshbarger and freshman Luke Niemeyer were unhappy with the changes.
Harshbarger said, “Kids who have practice need more food, so they won’t be tired.”
While the portions of food is one issue that students are upset with, the other involves the prices of lunches. There has been a 10-cent increase in both breakfast and lunch. Breakfast went from $1.40 to $1.50, and lunch has been changed from $2.35 to $2.45.
Niemeyer said, “It would make more sense to decrease the serving size and decrease the price, and the people with after-school sports and other physical activities to get more food, because they burn more calories.”
Along with the lunch changes, two clubs in the school had to make changes to the products that they sell to the students. The RC Chefs club had to change its cookie recipes because of the new meal restrictions, and FCCLA had to remove many of the items from its vending machine by the lunch room.
“[We changed the cookie recipes] to meet calorie and some ingredient requirements,” RC Chefs sponsor Morgan Milham said.
As of Oct. 10, though, FCCLA sponsor Kjerstine Vaughn said items, such as Lunchables, Easymac, Uncrustables and chocolate milk, were added back to the machine.
“I think that each school should get more say, based off of their students, in how they get to prepare the foods, and more options on what they can cook,” Vaughn said. “I also think they should add a salad bar; that way students can get their fruits and vegetables in one.”
Article and photo by Kayla Huffman, Business Manager