New Media Academy at Hollywood High School

My message: Stop allowing students to starve all day

Dear future president,

Once when I was in the fourth grade, I was really hungry and could not wait for lunch. After about ten minutes, it was finally time. I lined up with my little tray and couldn’t wait to eat. I received my food, and on my tray rested a processed, cold lump of spaghetti. Throughout the years, I realized that I am not the only one who dislikes public school food. In the past couple years, the quality of multiple aspects in public schools have been going in a downward spiral due to their tiny budgets.

My main concern is the food. The food provided by public schools is below the line of acceptable and I believe it should be greatly improved due to the poor conditions and lack of nutritional values.

“In order to function properly, the brain needs a constant supply of healthy fats, proteins, carbohydrates, water, vitamins and minerals,” according to Modernmom Staff “How Does Nutrition Affect Learning?” Nutrition can greatly affect the learning process in a student’s life. Public school food is nowhere near the standard it should be. I have seen people at my school every day cringe at the food on their trays due to its extremely low quality. In all honesty, many of the meals do not include some of the essential food groups. I do not recall the last time my food tray had an adequate amount of carbohydrates or fruits.

I have friends who would rather go through the entire school day without eating than eat cafeteria food. A few of the outraging things we have been served are frozen meatballs, warm milk, stiff bread, and pears that feel and look more like tennis balls. This is unacceptable. As students, we cannot progress in our studies with food of this quality.

Our brain cannot function properly without adequate nutrition. How can a student perform well in school while running on an empty stomach?

Something I don’t understand is why the food reaches extremes throughout the week. For example, one day we are served a cold salad with a small, stale egg as the source of protein and the next, we get a burger with potato wedges. This creates an unhealthy roller coaster of nutrition for our bodies.

Every time the cafeteria serves the infamous cold salad, I don’t see many people in line and those who actually do get the salad, usually throw it away after a couple spoonfuls. When it’s burger day though, the lines are huge to the point that the cafeteria runs out. That is not good. Students’ bodies are being starved for seven hours one day and being moderately fed the next. This can ultimately lead to problems since the body’s internal schedule is being shifted constantly between not eating and then actually eating within the school day.

Some people might suggest to just have students bring their own lunch if they dislike school cafeteria food so bad. The issue with that is some families don’t have the money to buy extra food to keep making homemade lunches for their kids every day. Some families barely have enough money to provide their kids with three meals a day. Where will they get the money to, for example, buy an extra loaf of bread, turkey, lettuce, and cheese every week? Many of these families rely on school food to feed their children and keep them going throughout the day.

In conclusion, I hope that you, future president, will bring attention to this problem and work together with our public schools to help fix it. It’s not fair that students are expected to get through seven hours of school every day while being provided with low quality food. Students deserve better and should not have to pay the price of a mediocre school budget like this.


Kimberly Salazar

New Media Academy at Hollywood High School

Los Angeles, Calif.