Nasty Hunger-Inducing Kids Act of 2010

Nasty Hunger-Inducing Kids Act of 2010

Having a bad school lunch is a factor that many students (including myself) despise. It would be another reason why students are not excited to show up to school. Without positive aspects of a school environment such as a tasty meal, students will lack motivation. I know that if I had a good meal to eat at school every day, I’d be more excited to attend. Eating good makes you feel good.

It is said that the Obama-era’s Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was a major improvement of the United States’ goal of providing all children with healthy food in schools. I (along with many other students) believe that after the act was passed, the quality of the lunch decreased exponentially. Is the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 doing more harm than good? 

Here at Parkdale almost every day the cafeteria serves bland cheese pizza in line one and a questionable meal in line two. This has been worse compared to how the lunch was (although it was still bad) three years ago during my freshman year in 2018-2019; at least back then there were four lines having different options of food (even though the food was not good).  

I have been noticing that school lunch has been getting progressively worse. And after more than a decade, I am really tired. Many other students are tired; not just at Parkdale, but all over the United States. I blame the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The government did this in hopes of making students healthier and decreasing the rate of diabetes and obesity, but things backfired. With this act, the government has done more harm than good. 

The government issued this act in homes of nutritional progress, but it is evident that they did not realize the funding that public schools have for lunch. It is a known fact that healthy foods/foods higher in nutritional value cost more than ‘unhealthy’ foods. And as schools have minimal amounts of funds to provide for food but have to accommodate the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, they have to find healthy foods for cheap. 

“Fresh fruits and veggies are more expensive to farm than crops that will be processed,” says Dorotea Sotirovska and Elizabeth Philip of Vox. “Produce relies on human labor rather than machines, and machines are more efficient and cheaper in the long run.” 

Schools are required to have their lunches be healthy but have minimal funding to support that. Tasty filling healthy foods are expensive; disgusting small healthy foods are cheap. If you put two and two together, to meet the criteria of the Healthy-Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 students are going to have to eat cheap, untasty, and unfilling foods that are “considered’ healthy.

I skip lunch a lot of the time (more times than I can count) because I honestly think that it is gross (and many other students think so as well). I have been skipping lunch for all of my years in high school (except for the one year we were virtual because of COVID-19 *sigh*). I also know students who bring their own lunch because the school lunch does not taste good. This is ultimately the opposite of what the Act was supposed to accomplish. 

Students are skipping meals because they don’t like the taste, which can ultimately lead to harmful side effects like eating disorders or issues with metabolism. I know that I am not partaking in a healthy lifestyle because I already don’t eat breakfast when getting ready for school (as I usually run late), and I skip lunch a lot because I think it is gross; ultimately leaving me with one meal (and some snacks) a day; sadly this practice is too common because many of my friends so this as well.

Another negative effect I have seen is that students are bringing in their own lunch (which typically is fast food/unhealthy foods) to eat because they don’t like the school lunch. This makes the entire act pointless. 

Many may not realize the importance of a healthy meal. It is important to eat healthy because being healthy provides “an overall happier outlook and an improved ability to focus,” says Gabriela Cora, a board-certified psychiatrist

I remember my early years at Parkdale as a freshman; I was very unhappy and was hardly in a good mood. I would come to school and see a greasy coldish salty cheese pizza for lunch, and that would make my day even worse. 

Although it’s too late for me to make my high school experience better, it is not too late for the underclassmen. I was not able to have an amazing high school experience, but there is still time to make it up to the underclassmen. The government needs to fix its mistake with the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010; either provide more funding to schools for school lunches or abolish the Act.