Short Lunches Upset Bellies


Now that junior and senior students have had the “go-ahead” to go off campus during lunch breaks for a month, the time frame in which students have to do so is far too short. 

But this affects far more than the upperclassmen who choose to leave campus for lunch. This affects the health of the entire student body, low income students, and the amount of waste we are producing.

The current length of lunch is 35 minutes. In this time students are expected to get to the cafeteria, or  the parking lot, so that they can leave to buy food, or  walk across the street to buy lunch.

Juniors and seniors who are eligible to go off campus must wait in a terribly long line to get out of the parking lot, and after picking up their food from locations near the school, still have to rush back to even get a bite in. 

Senior Audrey Powers suggested that “even an extra ten minutes is less time we have to stress.”

Students’ late arrivals after lunch are becoming more and more common, which affects their learning. Senior Alyssa Medieros believes that a longer lunch would be “more beneficial because kids won’t be late to their class.”

Aside from being late to class and not having enough time to get food off campus, even the students who are on campus struggle to finish their food or choose a healthier option due to the time constraint.      

Students tend to go for more convenient yet unhealthier options and often leave waste behind. According to a University of Washington study, “Nationwide school lunch waste is estimated to cost $1.2 billion dollars each year.” 

Another University of Washington student argued that low income students are disproportionately affected by shorter lunch periods, since they get a majority of their calories at school.

Low income students are directly affected by this as without a car, their only options for off-campus lunch include convenience store snacks.

Eating healthier foods and not wasting the nutrients that students need will improve their ability to perform at their fullest potential in class and during their extracurriculars.

More time during the lunch period also means more time for students to socialize with their peers and meet new friends.

So, is it time to add a few minutes to the lunch period or will lunches continue to not let kids live their healthiest lives?