Food At The End of The Lunch Line

Food At The End of The Lunch Line

I have a constant problem when I’m late to the lunchline. Whenever I’m at the back of the line, I feel like the only option left when I get to the front of the line is pizza.  

Part of my problem is that the class I have before lunch is on the other side of the building. This means I will always be late, unless I run, which isn’t allowed.  The problem is that I don’t like the school’s pizza, so there isn’t a lot for me to eat. 

I know I’m not the only one with these issues.

Ethan Tesone, a 7th grader, feels the same way.  “I am disgusted because I hate the school pizza. I am late for the hot lunch because I am upstairs and on the other side of the school,” he said.     

Justin Brown, a 7th grader, says “I have been late because I’m upstairs so I have to run downstairs.”

Also, Nicholas Jezierski, 7th grade, says “Yes, I have been in the last of the line to find out that there wasn’t even pizza left but instead just a bean burrito that I cannot eat so I had to turn it down and have nothing for lunch. I hated going hungry that day. I don’t have hot lunch all that often but when I do I’m usually at the end of the line because my teachers like to work us to the bell so I have my lunchtime decreased because I need to clean up.”

So what are we to do?   I decided to do a little investigating into this issue. 

Here is some clarification from Donnalyn Hunter, the Westlake Kitchen Manager. 

WHY ARE WE SEEING ONLY PIZZA?

“I am sorry to hear that there has only been pizza left for any student that does not prefer pizza. We strive to have options for every student as they come through the lunch line. If this has happened, I can assure you that is not the norm. With that being said, I am sure that it has occasionally happened, but we generally have options, always at least two.  Any given day can be different in regards to what the students take (depending on what is menued together), so it is challenging sometimes to try and predict this. If a student does not like pizza and this is the only thing on the line, ask the “Lunch Lady” behind the line if there is anything else. I will always strive to satisfy the students that come through the line to eat with us.”

WHAT IF A STUDENT HAS ALLERGIES OR IS LACTOSE INTOLERANT OR GLUTEN-FREE?

“If a student has an allergy, they can obtain a Medical Statement for Meal Modification Form. This form will need to be filled out by a licensed physician, an advanced practice nurse with prescriptive authority, or physician assistant. After this has been completed, within 10 days, the student can receive a special dietary meal that meets their needs.”

CAN STUDENTS MAKE REQUESTS ABOUT THE LUNCH MENU?

“The menus are put together by a Specialist Supervisor who has to strictly follow government regulations on what is offered each day on the menu. This leaves little room for myself, as the Kitchen Manager, to modify any menu items offered.”

WHAT ELSE DOES THE KITCHEN WANT STUDENTS TO KNOW?

“All of the Kitchen staff here at WLM strive to provide healthy, delicious, and varied meals of breakfast and lunch to the students here. This year, unlike many other areas of our life, we have been greatly affected by shortages due to supply chain issues.  This means that quite frequently, we are unable to serve an item that was supposed to be menued and will have to substitute it with something else. Sometimes this may mean an unexpected item on the menu, items being served more frequently than normal, or a complete deletion of an item such as chocolate milk or corn dogs.”

FINAL THOUGHTS

I understand how you have shortages and how you have to substitute food. All of the Kitchen Manager’s answers make lots of sense. One thing I am a little confused about is why you need a doctor’s note to get the food for people or allergies? But I think it is because kids who don’t have allergies would take the food for kids that have allergies? But besides that, I think everything is straightforward.