Image from author.
Lunch: the meal that gets us through the day. After walking from class to class, and learning for three hours, your energy is drained. That’s why school lunches are important.
But when the hour of eating finally comes, what do you pull out of your bag: a homemade lunch, or your ID card to get lunch from the cafeteria?
“I usually just bring snacks,” says Ayesha Khurram, a freshman at Washington. “I would just get food from the cafeteria.” Khurram says she does not bring lunch to school due to the lack of time. But if she was able to bring homemade food, would she? “I’m just happy with my snacks because I don’t usually get hungry,” she says.
Jonathan Salcedo Ramirez, also a freshman at Washington High, says that “the lunch here at school isn’t as appetizing as the lunch I eat from home.” Ramirez’s mother prepares his meals: “When my mom wakes up in the morning, she wants to make my lunch early so we both can get ready and get to school on time.”
Is home cooked lunch better than the lunch eaten at the cafeteria? At school, kids eat meals for free; this helps out their parents, who may not have time to pack a lunch, and it also cuts down on costs. School lunch is a quick and easy way to get fed, and stay full until dinner, but is it nutritious? Here’s what Khurram has to say: “Maybe homemade food is better because you know what you’re putting in it. And it could be more healthy than the stuff they serve in the cafeteria.”
Do students prefer school lunch over homemade lunches? Ramirez says, “it’s better because at home, you know what you like, and your parents know what you like, so they can make foods you will enjoy eating.” Ramirez also says, “for other parents, I think they would rather kids eat home food because they don’t trust what the school puts in the food.”
Homemade food is mostly preferred by students, for it can bring a sense of comfort in school and familiarity in what could be a stressful environment.
However, school lunches are also useful. Khurram prefers eating school lunch whenever she feels hungry. “When I do eat school lunches I feel good after, it keeps me full until I eat at home,” she says. Eating lunches that are paid for by the government makes it easier for parents who are struggling to balance work and home. School lunches provide a variety of food, and you also have access to vegetables for a more balanced meal. At the end of the day, whether it be eating school cafeteria food or homemade food, you are still getting something packed and made by people that want us to be healthy.
Sahar Naqvi is a freshman at WHS, and this is in her first year at the Hatchet. She was born in Texas, but grew up in San Ramon, California, Sahar now lives in Fremont. She enjoys writing stories and expressing herself through poems. She’s been writing stories since second grade and was encouraged by her teachers. She wrote her first poem during the lockdown at ten years old. Sahar looks forward to writing articles about anything. She plans on studying whatever she feels like, and dreams of becoming a successful author. Her work is inspired by her favorite author, Roald Dahl.