School Lunches, Healthy or Not?


U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

A lunch served by the Yarmouth, Maine, School Department on Sept. 26, 2014, featured Sloppy Joe’s made with Maine beef and local beets, carrots, apples and potato salad. More than 80 percent of Maine schools said they served local foods in a survey conducted by the USDA.

Hannah, Staff Writer

Are school lunches healthy? With the large range of food, is there a need for more healthy options, or is it already diverse enough for the students?  School lunches have become a popular discussion, being whether the daily lunch is balanced. Quakertown Community High School has different stations within the cafeteria where you can get your selection of lunch or a snack.

The stations in the cafe being 2Mato, which contains different pizza and flatbread. Grill Nation, which has an assortment of burgers and sandwiches. Therefore, Deli, which has Hoagies, PB&J’s and cheese and Extra Extra, which has different fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, and more. Students acquire all of these stations along with the daily lunch, being anything from Philly cheesesteaks to chicken nuggets to waffles to spaghetti and much more during lunch. Along with the panther cafe, being open for students all throughout the day.

To get more information and schedules on the schools menu throughout the weeks, go to the district’s lunch menu for more information. Lea Samsel, a senior within QCHS, spoke up about her thoughts towards school lunches, “I think there is a large assortment of options for the students, whether it comes to salads, wraps, drinks and more. The students have alternatives to go to for food; in this case there are healthy options.”

Asking around the school, some students believe it is completely unhealthy, while others think there are no problems with the food we have available. Within the side of students who believe the lunches are not healthy, they refer to the main meal rather than the bars with vegetables, wraps, salads, etc. This can be understood to an extent considering the diversity of daily lunches, yet the healthy options are always open whenever.

Emma Murphy, another senior at QCHS, explained how we need a larger range of fruit, “we could use a wider spread of fruit because kids put unwanted fruit in the bucket for other kids to take if desired. There are good options for vegetables but daily lunches are a hit or miss. That along with the fact there are pop tarts and other sugary items.”  Speaking with these students, it has concluded that the school has a foundation for a healthy, balanced lunch. Yet there are, of course, changes that could be enforced to increase healthy options if you have thoughts about how the range of lunch could be improved, inform the school district.

QCHS is sought out to have healthy options, but not enough diversity within them. Knowing this information, if needed, there may be ways to help suggest the school to include more healthy options to better the health of the students, both mentally and physically, throughout the school day.