Cafeteria food waste shocks students


Senior Micheal Clark brings unpleasant lunch to his table.

John Langlois and Aviance Waters, Editor-in-chief and Staff Writer

District 218 has a free lunch policy, which means that all students are provided a nutritional breakfast and lunch at no cost to them..

 The first lady of the United states Michelle Obama started the “Let’s Move Campaign” with a national conversation about the health of American children. The purpose of this organization was to lower the rising rate of childhood obesity and diabetes by providing a well-balanced meal to children according to the Healthy Eating Plate.

  Eisenhower’s food guidelines changed in 2010 as a result of this initiative and received healthier food options both in the lunch lines and in vending machines.

   The organization that is contracted with District 218 is Chartwells.

   Because of the free lunch policy, students are required to take a complete meal in order to check out that must meet the nutritional requirements that the government considers a healthy meal.

  Eisenhower has four food lines where students must take a entree, a side, and a milk.

 The entrees include: Pizza, Grilled Chicken, Sandwiches, and a changing everyday entree.  The side choices are:fruits, canned oranges, peas, beans, apple sauce, and mixed vegetables.

  Eisenhower students are not pleased with these food options. The pizza has been described by some as “ frozen cardboard with ketchup dunked in grease.”

 Even though students are not pleased with the presentation of the entrees,  they are less interested in the healthy side options that are provides. That typically gets thrown in the garbage.

 There are four garbage bags thrown away after breakfast and five during each lunch period, totaling 24 garbage bags thrown out daily.

 “It is disappointing seeing all the students being so wasteful, says Juana Mendoca, Lunch Lady. “My family is from Mexico and I know we wouldn’t take this for granted.”

When talking to multiple custodians all of them agree that is atrocious that all the food that they throw away is perfectly good food.

It isn’t possible for Eisenhower to donate the food because it could possibly open up a lawsuit.  

   As of now, students continue to take food that they don’t want and throw it directly into the garbage can. There is no concern for food waste due. Something that started out well-intended has turned into something very bad and wasteful.

 The food that is presented on the Chartwell’s website is not the food that is being served at the Eisenhower cafeteria. The food seems of lesser quality and not as nutrition as the images shown. THis could be a major factor in the large quantity of wasted food.

The district needs to either provide better food options, present the healthy food items in a more appetizing way, or open a donation program and allow the uneaten food to be recycled or donated.