By: Megan Richard –
Students have been complaining about price increase for school lunches. The Seton – La Salle cafeteria has changed their food offerings and prices over the last couple of years. Students have also complained about not knowing the the prices of their food and not being aware of the meal plans our school offers.
Mary Beth Heintz, an SLS; health and physical education teacher for 35 years, has her opinion on the situation. She states that although the cafeteria has made some good changes, the kids have been making bad food decisions. Students’ choices on their meals are usually high in fat and carbs. They make no effort to get all the protein they need or to make sure they eat from all groups of the food pyramid. Heintz also states that when the cafeteria makes healthy food, like carrots, a meal staple, a majority of the student body chooses to get fries rather than carrots; so the cafe losses money.
It’s more logical for them to buy unhealthy foods that kids like and will buy, rather than food that no one wants and will go to waste.
Another significant problem is that students aren’t aware of what they’re spending. One student could grab an entree, vegetable, and water and get a meal plan that costs less, while another student could grab an entree, fries, and water but each of their items will get charged individually. Many students aren’t aware of this ‘a-la-carte’ system, and waste a lot of money each year.
After speaking to the general manager and food service director, Lauren Burket, there was a more clear understanding of our cafeteria’s choices. Burket says that Seton’s food company, Metz, upscaled their food and wanted to give it better quality. Better quality food is better for students health, but also raises the cost.
Some students question why our school encourages healthy food, but it costs more to get strawberries rather than fries. Burket states “The reason foods like fries cost less is because they are 2x less expensive to buy. Produce like strawberries don’t sell at such a low price as cheap food.”
Burket tells us that the prices are also posted, but that many students just don’t pay attention to the posted prices. “It’s hard to label every single item everyday, but if the students want to know the price of their food, they are welcome to just ask the lunch ladies.”
Regardless of the expensive prices, students should be making smarter food choices and pay attention to their diet. They also make sure that they are aware of the prices of what they’re buying so they don’t make the mistake of getting a $7 meal, when they should be getting a $4 meal.