West Word

Time has come for districts to look at lunch programs

Mo Duran, Editorial Writer

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Students are offered food in schools, often breakfast and lunch as required by many state laws. Most of the time, this food isn’t great and portions are small. However, laws require that it be served. Currently, the program in place allows students with families in financial need to either pay a reduced fee or receive the food for free. This program helps students make sure they have at least two meals a day. However, no matter financial status, the food should be supplied to students for free.

Some parents are able to pay for the school food but do not believe that it is worth it when there is food at home. Some parents don’t qualify for the reduced program, but have other complications that prevent them from being able to spend money on school food.

Giving an equal opportunity to all students regardless of financial status would be beneficial. Students wouldn’t be required to eat the school food of course, but knowing there was an option without spending their own or their parents’ money would give them the chance to make sure they would be able to eat at least two meals a day.

Breakfast is important. Nationally, 77% of elementary aged children eat breakfast every day before school. By middle school the percentage falls to 50% and high school aged students fall at 36%. Most elementary and middle school classes do not offer time for students to eat their breakfast in class, even if they do buy it from the school and with the short amount of time between arriving at school and classes beginning, students either rush eating and wind up throwing food away, or they simply go without.

Lunch has less of a problem with whether it is getting eaten but more on what is being eaten and when. The Healthy Hunger Free Act of 2010 helped to change the standards of what was being served in schools. It limited carbohydrates and increased fruits and vegetables, along with starting the standard that food costs should be reduced for lower income families. Overall, the healthier meals are having an effect. Students who eat breakfast and lunch are more focused during class and since 2007, childhood obesity has been slowly decreasing in most states.

Granting students free food would help to raise test scores, grades, and improve focus and make sure that no child goes hungry.

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The student news site of Greeley West High School
Time has come for districts to look at lunch programs