School lunch: To eat or not to eat


Mia Hua

One student’s dismal pulled pork sandwich provided for hot lunch.

Mia Hua, Politics Editor

The bell rings at 12:25, and thus begins the mad rush out of classrooms to get hot lunch at the cafeteria. 

Woodside offers free school lunches as part of Newsom’s plan to prevent student hunger. Newsom took the states’ budget surplus to become the first state that offers all students free breakfast and lunch. Woodside senior Michaela Velleno has eaten lunch at the cafeteria for all four years of her high school career, and she’s been tracking the quality yearly. 

“I feel like the quality of lunch increased,” Velleno said. “Now, there are more options, and healthier options, too. I would give their nutrition levels a six out of ten.”

The price has decreased from $5 to free, so inevitably the taste of the food fluctuates. 

“Sometimes the hot lunches are good, and sometimes the faster lunches are better,” Velleno said.  “I would rate the average taste a five out of ten.”

Woodside has a few different locations for students to pick up lunch. Velleno refers to the two different lines inside the MUR. In one line, students walk through and pick up a prepackaged hot lunch, which changes daily.

In the second line, students wait in line to be served staples provided every day, like burritos, mozzarella sticks, or occasionally pizza. However, both lines snake through the building and spill outside towards the quad. 

“I think it would be better if they reopened the kiosk [located next to the G-wing],” Velleno said. “If you get to the cafeteria even 5 minutes after the bell, all of the hot lunch is gone and you’re stuck waiting in a huge line.” 

What Woodside lacks in volume, they make up for in variety. Velleno likes the chicken burgers the best, but the cafeteria runs out of the favorites fairly quickly, and students must pick from the leftover options.

“Some lunches are definitely better than others, but it is better than eating nothing,” Velleno concludes.