Everyone knows that food is an essential part of life, with lunch being the most important part of the workday. Lunch gives you a boost through the hump of the day. Energy from eating is the foundation for students’ afternoon activities.
Hackett offers a “hot lunch” daily with a main course and choices of vegetables, fruits, salad drinks, fries, and cookies. The main course can be a selection of pizza, chicken tenders, Bosco sticks, Jersey Giants subs, and more. Students also have a choice of Uncrustable peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, or a salad daily. The main courses for December are shown below.
During December, students were served Pizza on Tuesdays and Thursdays with alternating types of chicken on Mondays and/or Wednesdays. Students were given a cheese dish on Friday and once, a sub from Jersey Giants. Are Hackett students happy with this schedule?
In a survey, all students said their nutrition is at least somewhat important to them, and about 48% said it was “very important” to them. However, when asked about the option to get more fresh options of food at the cost of cookies and french fries, students chose to keep fries and cookies by over half. Some wanted to keep one but not the other, and a little under half of the students surveyed chose to get rid of cookies and fries for different options.
Survey results can be found here:
Students at Hackett seem to be content with the current choices, however, some may be turned away by the available choices and choose to bring a lunch from home. A second survey was sent to Hackett's parents, and those who responded had a slightly different stance on Hackett’s lunch.
The parent survey concluded that all parents believe that their child’s nutrition is important. The majority of parents surveyed found the nutrition of their child to be “extremely important”. Hackett's parents’ opinions on the Hackett lunch choices are mostly average with ⅛th being “above average” and another ⅛th being “below average”. 70 percent of parents surveyed said that they would like a cheaper, healthier lunch through government programs.
As in most things, parents are more concerned about their child's health than the child, but both have equal right to decide what is best.
Hackett’s lunch room has been suffering from an understaffing issue. Recently all CSGK schools had to take a day off from hot lunch because all three schools were understaffed in the lunchroom. The issue of understaffing has plagued the Hackett lunch cycle since the beginning of the 23-24 year.
There are some alternatives to the issue of understaffing at Hackett.
Hackett has two lunches currently but may benefit from a single, longer lunch so staff can prepare everything, serve, and clean once. The idea of a single longer lunch was brought up in the survey. Parents support the single lunch but most students would prefer to stay the same. The most likely cause for the rejection of a single lunch is the lunch line, which is already very long and causes some kids to have little time to eat. Students also felt that seating could become an issue for such a lunch.
Hackett could also consider installing vending machines with pre-made lunches that staff can fill in the mornings. The vending machine may lessen wait time so that the staff does not need to serve as much food and can simply fill the machines. This way students will be able to pay and get lunches faster.
In recent years, Hackett has gone through many changes but it seems like Hackett students and parents are relatively comfortable with the current lunch situation.