Students push for lunch improvement
By Wendy Axtelle, Reporter
In mid-February, a student-created survey was sent out asking for students’ opinions on school lunches. The survey reflected student interest in enacting change in the school lunch program. Though the answers of the survey mostly consisted of individual preferences, a common thread was the desire for larger portions and a better line.
“There were a lot of comments on the lunch line,” ASB president Talia Spurlock said. “[Such as] it’s super stressful … [and] really overwhelming.”
Students also reported interest in increasing portion sizes.
“There’s something about portion sizes which leads me to believe that there are some students who are still hungry after they eat lunch,” principal Danny Rock said.
Though Vashon lunches may not have the largest portions, the staff can guarantee that the food is made with lots of care and hard work.
“Because our lunches are made from scratch, we add flavors and fresh garlic, … just like you would cook at home,” lunch director Lisa Cyra said.
The intensive work that goes into the lunch program creates a complicated system.
“The whole structure is interconnected and dependent on itself,” Rock said.
Alongside change in the lunch system, outside regulations would make change even less likely.
“The national school lunch program is just a program like a reading program,” Cyra said. “You have to cover all of these bases. … I have to … be compliant with OSBI [office of the superintendent of public instruction] and the government.”
Because of these complications, change in portions is unlikely.
“ASB is not trying to directly … change anything about the lunches, including portion sizes,” said Spurlock.
Still, other changes are possible.
“After talking to Lisa [Cyra] we decided that [the school] can move the plates up, and they did,” Spurlock said. “It made a huge improvement. No one was pushing each other. … You just got in line.”
In order for students to be able to change lunches, it’s vital for them to understand where their lunches are made.
“I do encourage students to come into the kitchen and see the process, see our refrigerator and see when … farms give us our vegetables,” Cyrus said
As ASB creates change in the school, they are preparing themselves to create change in their future.
“The process of caring about the world you live in, … challenging the power structure, to make changes, those are skills that will help students for the rest of their life,” Rock said.
ASB encourages students to participate and use their voices to share what change they want.
“Whether changes are implanted or not in lunches, we are glad students are now being heard on a level they weren’t before,” Spurlock said.