Senate offers views for $1.2 million lost in food services

By Morgan Seiler
Published: February 2009

The School Committee’s Food Service Review subcommittee met with members of the South Senate on February 5 to discuss issues surrounding cafeteria services at South. The meeting addressed a range of issues, from food options to cafeteria efficiency and pricing.

According to School Committee member Reenie Murphy, who is chair of the Food Service Review subcommittee, the district’s food services have been operating at a loss for the past several years, but reached $1.2 million this year.

South Senator and junior Ben Chelmow suggested more basic foods such as pasta and macaroni as a way of appealing to the student body. According to Chelmow, some of the foods currently served in the cafeteria are too “exquisite looking for the average teenager.

Another problem addressed is that school lunches offer few vegetarian and vegan options. South Senator and junior Conrad Beckman thinks that, while the salad bar is good, other vegetarian options are either unappealing or unavailable.

South Senator and senior Persephone Hernàndez-Vogt also pushed for more vegetarian options. “I know one of my friends who graduated last year had a lot of trouble with finding pieces of meat in her vegetarian sandwich, Hernàndez-Vogt said.

Efficiency also seems to be a factor that discourages students from buying lunch.

“I remember going to lunch and there’s no food there, so I just go to the vending machine, South Senator and junior Conrad Beckman said.

For the most part, students agreed that using student cards to buy lunches makes the process run faster, but not smoothly enough.

“The sheer bulk of people is just overloading the system, South Senator and senior Jay Epstein said.

The biggest problem with the cafeteria, according to students, is pricing.

According to South Senator and sophomore Amanda Sands, the food is overpriced. Cereal and milk at the snack line costs $3.75, which is 25 cents more than lunch. “In my experience I’ve had to just get like a piece of pizza for $3.50, Sands said.

The current price of lunch, $3.50, is not cost effective, according to most senators. It is not enough to cover food costs and employee costs. Yet, students say that it is the maximum they would pay for school lunch.

The Citizen’s Advisory Group is currently working alongside the Food Service Review subcommittee to solve Food Service problems and reverse losses.

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