School running out of lunch

Madison Ritz, Blue M Student Life Editor

Back in September 2018, I wrote the article, “School lunch needs to change.” I explained that school lunch needed more options for vegetarians and vegans, along with needing to change how much food we are supplying for the students to eat.

Almost exactly a year later, I’m here to explain to you that Manhattan High needs more food in general. 

Two weeks in a row, both on Tuesdays, I got out of class no later than five minutes after the lunch bell rang. I ran up to the line and waited. Unlike last year, I noticed that the food isn’t running low. So, I thought that food wasn’t going to run out before I got my turn. I got up to the counter, and the main entree ran out, pizza ran out, and the salad was mainly gone. So I grabbed a half of a roll, and a scoop of mashed potatoes — scooped from a styrofoam tray, because that’s what was left for me. I paid full price for the meal — $2.90 —  and I’m upset about that. 

For some kids, on free and reduced lunches, the school’s breakfast and lunch are all they’re served. The worst part of this is that when lunch runs out, those particular students don’t get to eat till the next school meal is served. If we had more food, those students wouldn’t go hungry.

“Unfortunately since we do not do any type of lunch counts at our secondary schools, we try to estimate about how many servings to prepare for the day based on the menu, last time served. (in this case, last year)…” Stephanie Smith, USD 383 Child Nutrition Director wrote back from an email. 

There are more students enrolled at MHS this year than there were last year. The school should have the option to have too much food and not too little. The school should give every student a chance to have a full-meal.

“…Sometimes at the beginning of the year we may be a little short on one of the items. If the school has more on hand, then they will prepare and cook more. However, sometimes students do not want to wait for these items to finish cooking,” Smith wrote.

This wasn’t the case when I got my food. When I got up to the line, they said the words, “This is all we have.” Here, she explains that they have more, so where’s the food? Last Tuesday, I was told that the chicken would take 14 more minutes to cook and be ready. This was about halfway through lunchtime and I didn’t wait, so I just grabbed a scoop of fruit and that’s it. I once again, didn’t eat until 8 p.m., because I worked.

After the email was sent, I started noticing there were signs on the windows of the counters, in the lunchroom, saying “Are we out? Please ask a server for help.”

I’m frustrated at the part where it says, “Please ask a server for help.” I asked the lunch lady if there was more food and she said no. 

Even though it happens to us all eventually, the district should supply more food to the students. We’re constantly running out of food. We can stop this, by making more food from the start. Even if their supply goes over a little.