The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Lunch Worth a Quarter More?

By: Catherine Ho

While school lunches may be something juniors and seniors shy away from, it remains a must for underclassmen. As freshmen enter high school, they may be hoping for better tasting and a greater variety of food than was sold at Hopkins Junior High. Indeed MSJ food is better, varying from Chinese to Mexican to traditional American food. Our school provides pizza, burgers, salads, burritos, Teriyaki chicken rice, pastas, and many other types of entrees. However, instead of buying a single item, most students choose to purchase a box lunch, which includes a fruit, drink, salad, potato wedges, and a snack, making the cost of lunch to $3.25. Although it may sound like the perfect deal, prices have gone up from $3.00 to $3.25 since August 2010.
However, why have the designated items in the box lunch? The FUSD Child Nutritional Services has specially designed the meal so that every student buying a box lunch will have nutritious, properly sized servings. A box lunch usually consists of two ounces of meat or meat alternate, two grain items, three-fourth cup fruit or vegetables, and eight ounces of fruit juice or milk. All these items usually total up to four or five items.

This health factor may have been why the district has promoted students to buy school lunches. Well, why the sudden change in lunch prices? The Nutrition Services of FUSD has raised prices in order to pay for operating costs, food costs, transportation, delivery expenses, warehousing, food services salaries and benefits, as well as indirect costs.
Although the slight increase of school lunch prices from $3.00 to $3.25 may not seem like a great burden for the majority of students, some families are being affected by the price increase. This price increase has caused many students to start bringing lunches from home. However, the downside to home-brought lunches is that students may not be getting the proper nutrition they need each day.
Besides looking at the negative aspects of the increasing lunch prices, it’s always better to look on the positive side. The increase in lunch prices by a quarter allows the school to buy better quality foods and provide a wider variety of choices for the students. It provides students with small free snacks each day along with the box lunch. Students can indulge in small cakes, crackers, chocolate chip cookies, sunflower seeds and many other snacks.
While many frown upon the raised lunch prices, they actually do much for the students. Without them, school lunch operations wouldn’t be as smooth as they are now, with the new technology and the ID system in place. It also allows FUSD Nutritional Services to ensure that students are receiving the nutrition they need each day, keeping FUSD students away from unhealthy foods.
For all the improvements and benefits we get, a quarter is a small price to pay.

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