Students Commentate on School Lunch Options

Editor, Staff Writer

As it has become more accessible, students of Sayreville War Memorial High School have commentated more than ever on their school lunches. This past April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that during the 2021-2022 school year, lunches would remain free of cost in order to enforce students’ nutrition. Despite this, many have complained about the lack of healthy options.

Antonio Conway, a junior, was concerned about the health of students who partake in the free lunch meals. “I wouldn’t necessarily call our school lunches unhealthy in the sense that they are fattening,” he stated. “But kids, including myself, rarely ever eat the fruits and vegetables given to us – if there are any at all.”

A side of green beans or carrots may seem like a beneficial way to incorporate greens into a student’s meal, but several have claimed that the vegetables were rarely ever appetizing. Conway suggested that smoothies or vegetable meat alternatives may be better and more appealing options that students would be willing to try.

The topic of vegetable alternatives sparked dietary concerns from students as well. Junior Dayannara Medina, a vegetarian student, commented on the lack of diversity within the lunch selection. “Usually, the only options for vegetarians are pizza or breakfast, and it gets extremely boring.”

Medina, who often purchases lunch from school, admitted that she felt as though the options were not always inclusive of her diet. She suggested adding almond milk and other cold lunch options in order to cater to the needs of students like herself.

Although the cut cost of school lunches has allowed a wider variety of students to indulge in meals, there are still several ways that the options could cater to more individuals. The decision by the USDA has benefited many, but there is still a significant amount of change that can be made to further push the limit.