Opinion: Students Weigh in on School Lunch

Woman holding bowl with fresh tasty fruit salad over white wooden table, top view

Food is crucial to our survival as human beings. For children, it is even more important to get the correct nutrition they need to grow. Because schools reopened after the worldwide pandemic, the USDA announced that all students in Virginia public schools will have free lunch during the 2021-2022 school year. This statewide program benefits a number of students and families across Loudoun, and we wanted to survey them about it.

Loudoun County Magazine surveyed 22 students who live in Loudoun County and attend public school via a Google Form. We learned a great deal about our participants. Nearly 20 percent were neutral about school lunch, over 75 percent of students reported some dissatisfaction with school lunch, and 5 percent are satisfied.  All participants contributed to the following suggestions regarding school lunch.

Make lunches fresh.

Many people said that they would enjoy the lunch more if it was fresh. “Make sure that fresh fruit is ripe,” wrote one student.. Another student commented, “The food is soggy, especially the canned vegetables.” It is clear that students are seeking fresher food for school lunch.

Include More Variety & Vegetarian Options.

Multiple students commented that they would prefer greater selection of food. One student said, “Most items are patties and nuggets.” Another student asked that the school system provide more vegetarian options, writing, “Include more vegetarian dishes such as veggie fried rice or veggie noodles.” 

Include High Quality Food

The last main suggestion is to make the quality of the food better. A student from Lightridge High school said, “ The chocolate bears are harder than rock, the pizza tastes like cardboard, and the milk is chunky.” I think it would be beneficial to make the lunches have better quality so people would eat them.  

Article by Akhil Meda

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