How Long is Too Long?


How Long is Too Long?


All across America, teens look forward to two things…weekends and lunch. Many teens even consider lunch their favorite “subject” of the day. The topic of school lunch has even been addressed by former First Lady, Michelle Obama, with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This “hunger-free” act isn’t so hunger-free when the lines are so long that by the time the end of the line reaches the food, the bell is ringing for students to go to class. In an article from Education Week, Juliana Cohen, public health and nutrition professor at Merrimack College and Harvard University stated, “Students who get less than 20 minutes to eat leave a lot of food uneaten on their trays.” Kids are throwing food away and going without because they can’t be late for class and they can’t take the food out of the cafeteria. 

A large percentage of the student population at Statesville High is on free & reduced lunch. Many students may even go home to little or no food and depend on school lunch for their one meal a day. Breakfast is offered but isn’t usually enough to sustain someone for a whole day. When nutrition is such an important thing for growing and developing teens, it should be a priority that all students get their lunch and adequate time to eat. 

An example of the daily lunch struggle found in a recent small study conducted by our staff…

“The beginning of C-lunch bell rings at 1:15p. Students were in line by 1:16p but did not get their food until 1:24p. Their lunch ends at 1:45. They were closest to the front of the line. This shows students toward the middle or back have barely any time to get their food and little to no time to actually eat.”