New nutrition plan leads to more wasted food

Now that students must get additional food at lunch, junior Fabian Maxwell feels bad about wasting it.

“I mean if the food was cheaper, then I wouldn’t buy it,” said Maxwell after throwing away three small salads that he and his friends had to take with their meals.

The new federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act requires students to take an additional one-half cup serving of fruit or vegetables to receive their meal at the student price of $2.25. Students have to get a complete lunch or else they will be charged the adult price of $3.

“Either free, reduced or full price, they are all under the same rules,” said Dalia Pineda, the assistant lunch manager.

The purpose of the lunch policy change wasn’t just to raise prices, she said.

“It’s because a lot of kids are getting more fat because all they’re getting is bread instead of eating more fruit,” she said.

However, because students are required to get more food, there’s an increase in the amount of food they throw in the trash.

“I honestly don’t like it when I see them do that,” Pineda said. “I am not happy about it.”

Senior Jouah Ballah said she takes the extra food to avoid paying the higher price.

“I eat what I can and then just throw the rest away because I don’t want it,” Ballah said. “I’m fine with the new policy because I just want to get the food.”

Sophomore Julia Perry said she doesn’t like the new lunch policy.

“Even though you are getting less food it’s ridiculous,” she said. “I don’t understand why it would cost more if you get less food.”

All food service employees received training on the new guidelines. The training focused on ways that employees can help the students make healthier food choices.

“Because of my diet, I agree because I know that a healthy meal has to have fruits and vegetables,” Pineda said. “I know a lot of kids don’t like it because they don’t like fruits and vegetables.”

Perry said she eats healthy at home and she loves vegetables, but at school they don’t taste the same.

“I usually don’t eat the vegetables here at school because they taste old and gross,” she said. “But I eat healthy at home, usually vegetables every night.”

Pineda said most parents should influence their children to buy and actually eat the fruits and vegetables that are required to have a cheaper lunch.

“Healthy eating actually has to start from the houses, especially when they are little,” she said. “If a parent teaches their kids to eat more healthy from the beginning, it would be easier for them to eat more healthy.”