Dear Future President,
I am writing to you about my concerns regarding the lunches that are being served in our schools. I am aware of the movements that have been taken to try and fix the nutritional content of meals served in schools. A big problem I see as a student is that a very large amount of this food is thrown away that vastly exceeds what it should. After talking with classmates it has come quite clear that the vast majority is not happy with what is being served. This is not only based on one but many factors such as the way it's prepared, how it's presented, the taste, and the minimal time we are given to eat.
School lunches are important to students for multiple reasons. For demographic and economic conditions it might be the only meal some students get for a whole entire day. Another factor or reason to consider is that lunch is the break that all students get in the 6-8 hour school day. On average a student gets 20-30 minutes to get through the lunch line, sit down, and eat their food before they are sent back to class expected to perform at a high level for the remainder of the day. Nutritional studies have proven multiple times that the food we eat has a direct impact on productivity and performance. Performance in the classroom is not the only concern. Many students participate in after school athletics and will be required to perform with nutrition that they consumed from their school lunch.
According to the New York TImes article from september 2015 The healthy, Hunger-Free kids act of 2012 has done little to excite kids about better school lunches. Trash cans in cafeterias are overflowing and kids are brown bagging it. Some ideas to consider would be to have students get more involved with the selection of items that can be served. A task force could be formed with students from across the states. Nutrition can be added to the student curriculum as soon as kindergarten. You could add cooking to the student curriculum and bring a course like home economics to help kids learn how to select, prepare, and understand food nutrition. You could also increase the funding available for schools to provide proper meals. If you get student, teachers, and staff involved everyone becomes invested in improving their nutrition. Starting nutrition education at the kindergarten level and carrying it through twelfth grade will make proper nutrition a lifestyle choice that students can take with them into the next phase of their life.
I am currently a student who opts to bring my lunch or brown bag it. I would like to be more supportive of changing school nutrition but the options available just don't taste good. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. Hopefully it will encourage continued discussion and change with the new members with your cabinet. Students spend 180 days a year in school and are expected to perform at a high rate of success. Proper nutrition can greatly impact productivity.
Olson, Samantha, and Samantha Olson Samantha Olson is a writer-reader-runner cliché with a passion for nutrition and health management. Follow her on Twitter: @SnoWrite124 read more. “How School Cafeterias Are Failing To Improve Kids' Health.” Medical Daily, IBT Media Inc, 17 Nov. 2014, http://www.medicaldaily.com/students-arent-eating-healthy-school-lunches-despite-availability-how-cafeterias-fail-310934.
Murphy, Kate. “Why Students Hate School Lunches.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 Sept. 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/27/sunday-review/why-students-hate-school-lunches.html.