Testing the new school lunch [UPDATED]Published 11:02am Thursday, September 13, 2012 Updated 11:02am Thursday, September 13, 2012
For the first time in five years, I had the opportunity to walk through a high school lunch line, select what I wanted and sit down and eat with students.
When I was in high school, I knew something needed to be done about the lunch system. I usually ordered the “regular lunch” option for $1.35, but if I didn’t like some of the items on the menu, I would go through the a la carte line where a slice of pizza was about the same price as a full tray of food.
As a result, popular a la carte lunches for many students included two tacos and a milk; popcorn chicken and breadsticks; a cheeseburger and fries; and a slice of pizza and a cookie.
Kennedy Secondary now offers a new lunch option that combines regular lunch and a la carte items. I sat down and tried the Otter Value Meal on Monday, and it gets my approval.
My meal consisted of a Taco Johns taco, peaches, a banana, broccoli and milk. It was good, it filled me up and it was only $2. Looking around, I noticed I wasn’t alone in getting the Otter Value Meal. Four of the seven students at my table were eating the same thing.
When asked if the lunch options were better this year, the students at my table gave me a resounding “yes.”
The Otter Value Meal qualifies for the free and reduced lunch plan, which means that even students who come from homes with limited income can enjoy the new option.
I know that a taco might not be the most healthy food item for students, but I think it’s a good compromise. It encourages students to eat fruits and vegetables, and I think that’s important. It also provides student athletes enough food to get them through practice after school.
The only complaint I have with the new Otter Value Meal is that I wish they offered it when I was in high school.
Seth Johnson is a reporter for The Journal.