What’s Wrong with a Free Lunch?

Free lunch program creates more food waste

In order to get free lunch at Plano West the school requires students to get one fruit and vegetable. The problem is students who don’t want the fruit or vegetable end up wasting the food.

If students choose not to get the fruit or vegetable they are required to pay for their lunch. Most students will end up grabbing a fruit or vegetable just so they can get free lunch. 

“Personally I feel like it’s wasteful because you know that some of those kids only want the main course or don’t like the sides so they end up throwing them away or littering them and leaving them outside near the trash cans or in different places so it’s kinda wasteful.” said Lois Mackey, a junior, who eats school lunch.

Students would rather grab a fruit and veggie just to throw it away than pay for their lunch without a fruit and veggie because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want free lunch? 

“I feel like they are trying to promote healthy eating because of the food plate. They always have a vegetable and a fruit on it but it keeps changing every few years.” said Mackey. 

Mackey is right. According to the website Center4Research the “food pyramid” is updated every 5 years to keep up with current research and health data. Either way the food pyramid hasn’t been helpful to school lunches because their food is still being wasted. 

Instead of the food being thrown away, it can be given to plenty of food banks. Students should not be required to get a fruit and vegetable because the school wants to promote healthy eating. Students should be able to eat what they like without having to waste the school food. This is something the school should consider changing.