School lunches fill students with disappointment


From movies to TV shows, school lunches are always depicted as gross slabs of mystery meat that are far from appetizing. Does the stereotype have any basis of reality?
Going down to the school cafeteria at the start of lunch, long winding lines come from the two lunch stations. Hungry eaters must weigh whether lunches are worth the wait.
According to Bethesda Magazine, Healthy School Food Maryland gave Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) lunches a C, ranking it “number 14 out of 24 public school systems in the state of Maryland.”
MCPS serves healthier versions of traditionally unhealthy foods. Chicken nuggets are baked, never fried; the same goes with French fries. The cafeteria also has brand snacks from Cheez-Its to Smartfood popcorn.
Although the cafeteria does have a few decent options, people who are able to bring their own lunch and avoid buying school lunches almost never choose to eat food from school. “I do not like the school lunches at all,” junior Amanda Williams said. “I ate the school lunches in the beginning freshman year, but I always remember to pack from now on.”
Some students have never tried the school food and do not intend to try it either. “I have never tried a school lunch because I have packed my own lunch every day. From what I have heard though, I am not missing much,” junior Ashley Jarvis said. “I have friends who do eat it and they are not happy lunch buyers.”
Junior Charin Song has also never eaten a school lunch, but she has bought an ice cream cone before. “The one time I bought an ice cream, it was half-melted and did not taste right. It crushed all my expectations of the school’s cafeteria food. I do not think I will be going back to buy anything anytime soon,” Song said.
Junior Sara Dawood purchases lunch every day and she tolerates it. “The food really is not that good. The chicken nuggets are often stale and the bread is always crumbly. The taco meat also doesn’t really taste like meat. I really hope they improve the food before I graduate,” Dawood said. “The mac and cheese is the best food they serve in my opinion.”
Most teachers do not buy lunch from the cafeteria or the Commons.“Teachers normally bring their own lunches to school in order to have more time to help students and answer their questions,” Secretary Cynthia Cunningham said.
Students seem to be unanimous in how bad the lunches are. Students who do buy lunches acknowledge that it does not taste good. “The school lunches are very bad, I really wish we could have open lunch,” senior Gregory Ford said.