New lunch causes uproar

Intense heat, excruciatingly long lines, and food shortages—oh my.  The school has clearly cooked up a “winning” combination that has effectively turned lunch into sheer torture.  It seems that over the summer, Diamond Bar High School’s lunch system was tinkered with and altered.  While some of these changes were due to district wide policies, these new rules have made buying lunch a difficult task.

Even without the new changes, the school seemed ill-equipped and grossly unprepared for the demand for food.  The lunch areas are always swamped with hungry students; however, early in the first week of school, many students were turned away because the school had run out of meals.  Food Services reported that there were actually many leftovers, but this was clearly not the case as many students left to 5th period hungry.

One of the most unpopular changes, however, comes with the $.50 increase on subway sandwiches.  Just last year, this deal was sold for $2.50.  To students the price was reasonable since Subway sells foot long sandwiches for $5.  The school subways were half the size and half the price.  The increase in selling price this year, though, makes it higher than the commercial cost with little of the benefits, like choosing personal toppings and claiming special offers, found in actual subway stores.  This price increase, however, was the result of Subway raising its price with the school district.

Nevertheless, the single most disliked change is the restriction on buying multiple lunches.  The school no longer allows students to buy two full lunches; instead, they can only purchase a second entrée for $2.  This change was the result of a new US Department of Agriculture policy that restricts calories to 850 per lunch for each student.  It is absurd that the USDA is using a one size fits all method in controlling how students eat.  Some students, especially growing teenagers, may need more food.  Also, the single entrée is only $.50 cheaper from a full lunch, making the purchase seem overpriced and unfair.

In addition, it restricts students from buying lunches for their friends which only promotes cutting, slows down the process, and increases the lunch line.  Prior to this change, many students would purchase two lunches—one for their own consumption and the other for a friend.  This only required one of two students to stand in line, one of two students to punch in their ID number, and one of two students to purchase the food which greatly accelerated the process of purchasing lunch.  Now, both students have to stand in line, punch in their ID number, and purchase food.  The effect of this change has been seen immediately as lines are noticeably much longer.  The only alternative for students to buy lunch now is the hugely overpriced food in the student store which, for the most part, consists of junk food such as cookies and chips.

These new polices coming from the district and USDA have caused trouble for the students at DBHS.  The district and the USDA seem to believe that these changes are for the better.  It is clear, however, by the state of the lunch lines and the students’ satisfactions that the school’s assumptions were completely off the mark as these alterations are likely to affect the students’ performance in school.