Controversial School Lunches

Miami-Dade School Lunch Source:

By Caitlin Sandoval, Staff Writer

School lunch at Miami Senior High isn’t what it seems when you see a bunch of students fighting for the first spot at the lunch line. Some may think, “Wow, the food must be good today!” 


Why School Food Is Good 

    The benefits of eating the school lunch reside with the promise of making it through the day without a headache-inducing hunger. Lunch periods are the times throughout the school day most students get most excited for, as it promises a small break with a tray of warm food to eat, a satisfaction that many students are grateful for. Common favorites among the students are the cheese sticks, the orange chicken, and the quesadillas. 

     Sophomore Angelina Suarez states how she does not understand the common complaints others have on the served food and believes it is “not too bad”. Sophomore Mauricio Soza agrees, stating how he enjoys a lot of the food served. 


Why School Lunch Is Bad 

    Not everyone, however, would say that they enjoy cafeteria food.  Sophomore Melani Garcia states, “I personally don’t eat the school lunch because I find it to be disgusting.” Sometimes she’ll get the pizza on Fridays for lunch, but it’s either burnt to a crisp or extremely soggy as if not cooked at all, deeming it as “unappetizing”.  

    Similar to Melani, junior Mariana Cardenza believes the school lunch, most of the time, isn’t worth waiting in line for.  Other than believing the food is disgusting, another popular complaint about the school’s lunch is how it doesn’t necessarily comply with the dietary restrictions, such as foods containing gluten. “The food is advertised by the school and county as ‘healthy’ when in reality, it’s not,” said Melani.  


Packed Lunches vs. School Lunches 

     Packed lunches over school lunches is an easy argument to win for many; packed lunches have a higher chance at being chosen rather than school-issued food. Having packed lunches allows for more choices in what you want and can eat and gives you control over the foods you enjoy.  

   School food gives you little opportunity to choose what you want. When you arrive at the cafeteria, you will be choosing what foods they are serving that day. Sometimes, these can be narrowed down to just two or three food choices.  

    You decide what you eat when it comes to packing your lunch to eat for the day. Junior Mariana Cardenza and freshman Justin Wilson agree. 

     Not only do packed lunches give better variety, but home foods play a significant role in what students like to eat. Many kids attending the school come from cultural homes where the food greatly differs from what they eat at school. Angelina Suarez comments that the school food contains little to no spices that she normally eats at home. Junior Marco Herrera points out the food he eats at home has different textures and tastes along with those different spices.  

     There are many cons for the people who can’t pack their own lunches and can only rely on the school’s food to get them through the day; this includes students with certain allergies like gluten or nuts, students who are vegan, and students with certain religious views, who’ll be left hungry due to the lunches not complying with their needs. Freshman Jaylenn Aguilar shares this problem and cannot eat the school food due to these allergies. 


Is the School Lunch Truly Worth It?  

     In many cases when people are asked if the school lunch is worth it to people, the choice always depends on who eats it and who does not. Those who said they eat school lunch say there is a great benefit in eating school food because you don’t need to pay for cafeteria food compared to packed food from home. It lowers stress and it guarantees kids are being fed from households who just do not have the money to spend on extra food for students to bring to school.