Complex Lunch Issues

Fajitas were served for lunch on January 10. Photo by Vanessa Wandrie

Inland Lakes has a strict lunch system. Every kid who gets hot lunch must always have money on their account. The lunch ladies that run the cash register enforce you to never owe more than ten dollars.

If you are negative anything, you can not get any “essentials” as in chips, fruit roll-ups, cheese its, fruit snacks, popcorn etc. The lunch ladies will take your food from you if you owe more than ten dollars and will replace it with a wheat bread sandwich with just a piece of American cheese on it.

“I’ve witnessed kids get their food taken away by the lunch ladies. That makes me mad because who wants to eat just a cheese sandwich with no meat or anything on it. I thought our school pushed kids to eat and eat healthier. No kid wants a plain cheese sandwich, which means they aren’t getting a good meal at all that day. I’m very upset that I can’t eat lunch when I’m negative two dollars in my account,” junior Makayla Henckel said.

Is it protocol to take a student’s lunch away and replace is with a cheese sandwich? Why just cheese?

This is, and has been the charging policy for the district. When students have been given previous adequate warning, their lunch is removed and replaced with a cheese sandwich at the cashier end of the line. Students are well aware of the balance owed, prior to this measure of removing and replacing a lunch. A cheese sandwich satisfies the requirements of the federal school lunch program for calories and protein.  In addition, it is a somewhat undesirable choice, so it inspires students to remember they need to tell parents about their lunch balance at school! Cheese is also a commodity, and is plentiful and readily available at all times,” school lunch director John Galacz said.

Inland lakes has a variety of lunches every day. It’s a matter of which student has money or not in their account to purchase the food.

“I don’t think it’s fair to take food away from a student. It’s not right because if they owe money, they should pay it back and if not, they should do the same thing as when you have a library book that’s overdue. They send you a slip and if you don’t pay for your lunch then you get something in the mail,” junior David Fournier said.  

Those are some student with differing opinions on the Inland lakes school lunch. Of course there will be some kids who disagree on how the school runs the lunch system. There will also be kids who enjoy the lunch.

Another issue is size and portions of the food. Are kids at Inland lakes getting the right amount of food they need? Are they getting the correct amount of nutrients and protein? There are dozens of athletes who work out everyday and need more food to get the right amount of energy for a game day. It is not healthy for an athlete to not eat all day and then go to basketball practice after school.  

For the most part, Inland Lakes provides healthy lunches. Every main meal you have options whether or not to get fruits or veggies.

Our main goal is to provide a tasty and attractive meal, that fits the very strict guidelines mandated by the USDA, for the National School Lunch Program, as well as to provide many healthy and desirable a la carte choices at breakfast and lunchtime. The USDA mandates calories amounts, protein limits, carbohydrate limits, sodium limits, and other healthy guidelines which must be followed in order to legally work within the National School Lunch Program. Chartwells also invests a great deal of time and energy to create menu items and recipes that are both healthy and delicious. While we thoroughly understand that there are foods that are much more desirable, and would love to bring some of those items back on occasion for the students, we are unable to do so,” Galacz said.

If you have enough money in your account there’s a fridge to get juices, water, yogurt, PB&J etc. If you do choose to add a water, apple juice or chips it is an additional charge to the original $2.75.

Having checked on the Inland Lakes lunch menus, there has been items that never shows up at lunch before. Chartwells menu is what we run off of. We also get our food from Gordon Food Service, and our dairy products from Prairie Farms.

The school lunch director John Galacz takes care of all the lunch issues, and is in charge of the weekly lunches. The Inland Lakes website post updates on what’s for lunch and also counts how much fiber and how many carbohydrates are in the lunches. The website also shows the serving size each student is supposed to get.

Overall, the lunch system has changed over the years. For the most part, some students do not agree with the Inland Lakes lunch policy. On the other hand students don’t have the ability to change the lunch system, if they don’t like the food they have to pack their own.

About Madison Milner 8 Articles
Just living the junior life. I’m 5’8 and can’t wait to graduate. P.S softball’s my thing.

1 Comment

  1. From my understanding a lot of the time the second lunch period doesn’t have enough of the main course to go through the kids in the line. Then a student has to buy ala cart which costs more money. I think they need to check into the not enough food issue as well.

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