Lunchtime Madness


WHAT A LINE! Trying to buy food, students cluster in line to purchase food and fill their stomachs. Students observe food diminish as they eagerly wait for that slice of pizza. With a limited food budget, a lack of workers due to Covid, and a student population of over 3,000, lunch means waiting 20 minutes or more just to get something to eat.

Picture this: you just sat through four classes and your breakfast has worn off, but now it’s lunch time. But as you battle the hordes of hungry teens, you discover long lines and a lack of food.

Lunch is only 40 minutes and the biggest issue is having to wait 15-20 minutes to get your food. While that may seem like an exaggeration, it becomes obvious that it’s not when you get constant line cutters. By the time it’s your turn, the food you wanted ran out and now you have to substitute it for something less desired. 

For me, having physical education before lunch and building up an appetite sucks! Now I have to wait in line for a chance at getting pizza. While I can just get free lunch and skip all the b.s and stress, it’s not the most pleasing thing to eat the same burger everyday. Not to mention, it’s a struggle to even make my way to the lunch table because it’s so packed.

I can understand that the lines are longer than ever because there are more students here, but people shouldn’t have to spend half their lunch time (or more) trying to get food, nevermind sitting down and eating it. Sadly, there aren’t any easy answers.

One issue is people buying food for their whole table/group of friends. People will buy up to four slices of pizza and four waters, which depletes the already small supply of the food I crave. I am then left to order something that I didn’t really want or I simply go hungry and walk out. You’d think having people buy food for other people would make the lines shorter, but it really isn’t because the lines aren’t the same every day. 

What makes the wait worse is having people who cut in line. Cutting usually happens when people have a friend in line so they can exploit that into getting a spot . While this is annoying, I usually check the person if they do happen to do so. My go to line is “ Aye bro I’m in line.” A large majority of the time it works and if it doesn’t there isn’t much you can do about it.     

While the the supply of food seems like an easy fix, Cafeteria Manager Emiliano Ferrelthinks otherwise. The food supply and number of workers/ carts is out of his hands. Ferrel has a set amount of food he can buy because the school only provides a certain budget. Getting more workers is difficult because of Covid, but mainly finding spots to locate the carts is a challenge on its own. He said, “We are planning on limiting the amount of items each student can buy.”  

As for the line cutter issue Ferrel says, “It’s difficult to monitor with so many kids.” The lunch workers mainly focus on the task at hand, serving food, and not so much on cutters. The easiest fix would be having an administrator/ supervisor who could enforce the rules (no cutting), it would make people think twice before they cut, and it would ensure that the lunch line process goes smoothly and people could get their food in a timely manner.

If they added supervision, it would only leave making sure that there is enough of the popular food supply to go around, which would make lunch easier and less stressful overall.

The food shortage is being taken into serious consideration and is currently being brainstormed. However, until food availability/ shortage and people cutting are fixed, we will continue to endure these difficulties, which will make lunchtime a little less enjoyable.