Is the cafeteria food getting worse at SLVHS?

Cafeteria food. Is it getting better or worse at SLVHS? Some say worse, and I would have to agree. The main concerns kids have are the food selections becoming worse in quality, and the portions getting smaller.

Based on student responses, there are common favorite and least favorite options. The majority of students say that Bosco sticks are best, and the worst is the spicy chicken burger. Even with Bosco sticks being the favorite, students note that the portions are getting smaller and smaller as the years pass. Most would prefer more cheese in the middle and a longer stick.  I asked some students their theories on why portion sizes had decreased, and most thought it to be because of the increase in students this year.

The decrease in quality has nothing to do with the lunch ladies, in fact, most would say they’re kind and generous. From inside the lunchroom, I talked with Kathy the Food Service Director. She says she believes the selection of food is great, and she would enjoy anything on the menu. There is a budget to work, with so getting the best of the best is not always easy. But the cafeteria staff does a good job working with what they have to keep things healthy and keep the kids coming.  

Some students do not like anything there at all, and only go to get food in their stomachs. Talise Zavala says that “none of the food is appetizing, and only the extra things you buy are worth eating, like the chips and rice crispy treats.”

Pizza seems to be the biggest controversy of all. “They’re getting smaller and greasier” Joe Swanson says. I tried them myself and would have to say the same. There isn’t much sauce anymore, and the proportion of cheese and bread is all off. That said, some students, like Brianna Jarbutt, would say the pizza is great, as well as everything else on the menu.  She did note the portions were becoming a problem. Brianna also reported that “some students did not even get lunch today”.  

Castelli’s seems to be the school’s biggest competition. Around a quarter of the school goes there when without a car. Even the kids that eat at our cafeteria would say the food there is much better.

Why? Kathy says “it is absolutely true that Castelli’s takes some of the business of the cafeteria, because they’re allowed to sell things that the cafeteria is not.”At Castelli’s there are candy bars, coffee, and soda, whereas all the cafeteria can sell is milk, Izzy’s, and Gatorade. The coffee is especially popular among students due to the hours a regular teenager stays up.

From a teacher’s point of view “Even if the cafeteria food was good, teenagers would still find reasons to complain,” said Ms. Osenga. A lot would say that the healthy is what we need more of. Logan Keil and Joe Swanson agree that the food needs to be healthier in different ways.  For instance, the fruit need to be ripe, and the meal items should be revamped to be healthier overall. There are options of salads and turkey sandwiches, but if you had the choice between a caesar salad and pizza, which would you choose?

The cafeteria is also wondering if anyone would like to bring back the juicing, where you can juice fruits, different every day. Strawberries, carrots and much more.  

There’s always going to be complaints, but our cafeteria has stood strong in making sure to serve kids healthily. In the end the cafeteria is happily open to suggestions to making the food better, so if you have a complaint or anything you would like to see on the menu, be sure to let Kathy know.

By: Sabrina ValldeRuten

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