Amber Alert: Missing Fries PLUS!- Titan Talk 1

Cassidy Johncox

          Since the first day of school, one question has been circulating through Tower: Where did the fries go? The school lunches have changed and, for better or worse, the fry supply is now a limited time offer.

            First Lady Michele Obama is behind the school lunch changes. Because of regulations added to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, the USDA put limitations on the food schools are allowed to serve. Mrs. Obama took this initiative to get kids to eat healthier since obesity is a growing problem in the U.S. About 17% (or 12.5 million) of children from 2-19 are obese. “The USDA restricts so much,” says Patricia Minch, the district Dietician/ Food Service Director. Minch says that the changes include, “choices of vegetables and whole grain being incorporated into the menu.”

            The new design of school lunch is meant to benefit students. “The food is so much healthier. I feel like my life is changing for the better,” Jason Beaton ‘14 said. The new meal plan introduces more fruit and vegetable options for the students, while eliminating unnecessary carbs, fats, and calories that have been used in the old food.

            Though the new meals are healthier, some students dislike the change. “It’s a lot healthier, but I feel that it’s being wasted because people just throw it away instead of eating it,” Erica Saier ’13 said.

     However, Minch replies in response, “I feel that, watching what the students are taking and watching the trash, the students are actually eating the food.”

            While some people disagree on the taste of the food, one fact is clear — the new program costs more. Healthy vegetables cost more for the school to purchase than French fries. “Yes, the new plan is costing more money, but not for the students. The prices remain about the same for the students. The USDA is telling us how much to charge on lunches at an average across the district. It will cost more for the food department in the long run, but it’s worth it,” Minch tells us.

            So, what about the fries? The heaping plate of fries is gone from the everyday menu. Last year, WWT students consumed 53,000 pounds of fries. This year Minch will purchase only 27,000 pounds of fries. This means that fries will only be served to students once a week, two times a week at the most.

Enjoy it while you can, because school lunches have changed and there is one thing for certain: the changes are here to stay.