“Lacking” Student’s view on the School’s lunch quality

School lunch has always had a bad, from being portrayed as a nasty pile of goop in shows and movies to being used as ammunition in cafeteria food fights. In recent times, the food that schools across the nation serve to their students has been under much scrutiny as students showcase their lunch to the rest of the world through social media. 

“I agree that school lunch is lacking, why? Well because when I get chicken nuggets they are a rubbery texture and look green,” says junior Nicole Montano. “Food lunch can be disgusting knowing that the cheese they put on the taco is moldy, and the government cheese on the hamburgers is plastic.”

Montano’s sentiments are shared by students across the nation such as students in Patterson, New Jersey who appeared in an Inside Edition news video as they shared how horrible their school lunch quality is with one of their main menu items sharing the appearance as a pile of goop and mush. The comments of the video share similar experiences with the user, GetMeTo100million subs stating/saying , “FINALLY PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT MY LUNCH IS MADE FROM RAT DROPPINGS.”

The school’s lunch quality is an important issue as kids across the nation depend on school lunch to get a meal. Reported that the National School Lunch Program, a federal assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools, helped an estimated 30.4 million kids since 2016 get a meal. In Maryland alone, mdhungersolution.org reported that about 106,200 Maryland students were able to eat free breakfast and lunch through community eligibility, a key piece in the NSLP which allows schools with a high percentage of low income kids to eat free breakfast and lunch. It is also reported that 300,000 Maryland students receive free and reduced lunch in 2017-2018.

The number of students who depend on programs to ensure a daily meal might make you think that action is being taken within schools and vendors to ensure that students have access to nutritious foods. Even former first lady Michelle Obama famously pushed the healthy-hunger free kids act to ensure that kids are being fed nutritious meals. However, the USDA has made several changes since 2018 and before the pandemic that had students seeing less vegetables and more sodium and flavored milk. 

“I don’t think it does meet nutritional needs as kids throw their food away and just keep the juice,” said Montano. “School lunch makes me feel less hungry but I eat it sometimes but it does not satisfy me at all.”

However, hope is not lost. In a Sunday Morning report, Dan Giusati was a top chef working in a high end restaurant until he decided to help an elementary school in New London, Connecticut better their school lunch menu and provide kids more fulfilling meals without burdening tax payers. Montano comments that she would just appreciate it if expiration dates were thoroughly checked on milk and that fresh fruit is the least schools could do to better her own and other students’ lunch.