Putting Education Reform To The Test

The Secret Lives of Students: Hungry Students Want Larger School Lunches

Breakthrough Miami

Asatta Mesa, 12, argues some students depend on the meals they eat at school, and that proportions should be larger.

For today’s installment in our series, The Secret Lives of Students, we hear about students who depend on the meals they eat at school. 

Editor’s note: This post was written by middle school student Asatta Mesa who is participating in the summer school program, Breakthrough Miami.  

By Asatta Mesa, 12 

Many children complain about school lunch, but when they explain why they don’t like it, it’s usually because they don’t think it tastes good.

While that is important, there are also many other reasons why school lunch needs to be changed.

One of the worst things about school lunch is the proportions.

An abundant amount of kids rely on one meal a day, which is at school. There should be larger portions, because when kids don’t have proper nutrition, they lack focus.

All schools should also have resources to supply breakfast to students.

“Its Not Fair” 

Most importantly, it is not fair, that depending on how much money you can afford to spend on education, determines the quality of your school food.

This shows that based off of your social class, you get better food.

Basically, if you’re richer, you can afford privatized education, meaning better food because the high priced tuition covers that.

When you are lower on the social system, you don’t get quality food, sadly. It’s completely unjust that today, in modern times, your resources are basically based off of how much money you have.

I’ve talked to students that attend private schools and most tell me that at their school, they have salad bars, an array of pastas, poultry, pizza, desserts, and even ribs!

In public schools, on the other hand, you get a scoopful of rice and mystery meat, or soggy broccoli, and cheeseburgers in a plastic wrapper, or when you’re lucky, five ”chicken” nuggets.

All of these issues with horrible lunch in public school systems revolve on the government, because schools rely on government funding.

Generally, when you rely on someone it’s hard to get a say in what you can do. With government money, you can’t really legislate what you want to buy and add to your school. So, if the government cuts back on spending for other things, such as military weaponry, more money could be spent on enriching education in public schools overall.

Options for Vegetarians, Diabetics 

There should also be food options for those students who are vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, and who have allergies. As the world advances, so do medical conditions.

With the many chemicals, hormones, and preservatives put in food today, children now have diabetes and allergies restricting what they are able to eat, and they should have equal access to food, just like the rest of students in America.

The issue that most adults, such as Michelle Obama, are concerned about is the health issues with school food. That is something that needs to be fixed because students eat this unhealthy food, meaning that the main meal for most of them is something that will lead to health problems in the future.

Initiatives have already been taken to repair these health problems. The most well-known, is First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Program. This program offers foods such as vegetables and fruits to schools, in order to try to give children healthier food options.

Yet, this really doesn’t work.

Grilled Chicken, Not Bagged Squash

Bagged squash and apples really don’t appeal to children. To improve this program, healthier foods could be incorporated into actual lunch, such as serving grilled chicken, salad, and healthy juice/water, for instance. Of course, the taste of the food could be changed, because nobody, not even adults like to eat nasty food.

Asatta is a rising 8th grade student at Young Women’s Preparatory Academy. During the summer school program with Breakthrough Miami, she attends the Miami County Day school campus.

All month we’ll hear from students about life in Florida schools. They’ll open up about conflicting home and school rules on fighting, using technology in classrooms, school cliques and other aspects of school life.



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