Letter: Lunch program
Editor’s note: Today’s letters are from high school students.
As both high-schoolers and great appreciators of food, we believe the community needs to know about a few problems with the free and reduced lunch program at Glenwood Springs High School. The new program was initiated by the “Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act” (HHFKA) which was signed into law in 2010 after being promoted by former first lady Michelle Obama.
One of the first glitches in the program is that hardly anybody uses it. A Post Independent article said that since HHFKA was enacted, participation in school-provided lunch programs has decreased by 4.5 percent nationally. In Roaring Fork School District high schools, 40-60 percent of students qualify for reduced lunch, yet 30 percent or less actually utilize the programs.
Next, posters about eating healthy are plastered on the walls of the GSHS cafeteria, yet the reduced cost lunch program is also advertising extra meaty Domino’s pizza and cheeseburgers dripping with ketchup. Yes, there’s a small, pathetic salad and fruit bar, but it isn’t very enticing. The food from the former program that was prepared by a local chef was made on site and offered delicious paninis, chicken Caesar salad and muffins that melted in your mouth, just to mention a few.
Another repercussion of the new lunch program is that the student-run DECA store, Time-Out, is no longer able to sell to students. DECA, a business class offered to GSHS juniors and seniors, gives them the opportunity to explore all aspects of the flow of money through the economy. Time-Out helped to serve as a learning tool that taught students various things, including skills about how to run a business, inventory count and even working well with others.
As juniors at GSHS, we’ve seen two different lunch programs that have been offered and we aren’t satisfied with the effects of the current free and reduced lunch program. Although students should have an affordable lunch choice, this program has minimal participation, unhealthy food, and takes away an opportunity for students to learn skills that will be helpful in the future.
Savannah Kelley and AJ Crowley