School Foods


Evey Galindo and Tom McMullen

School foods: it’s a love hate relationship. We love the juice but not the salad, we love pancakes but not the soggy fries. But there is one thing that we ALL LOVE, the fact that the food is free now. The school food is free now because of Covid relief funding. The CARES Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund. The spending represents one facet of the $3.5 trillion budget resolution approved by the House and Senate in August. The House committee’s $761 billion spending plan will be knitted together with other committee recommendations before Congress takes a final vote on the resolution. In addition to the Pre-K and child care recommendations, the House proposal includes:

  • $82 billion for improving school facilities
  • $80 billion for workforce development programs
  • $35 billion for child nutrition programs, including funding for school meals and for programs to sustain low-income children over the summer
  • $297 million for developing personnel to support students with disabilities
  • $198 million to support school principals
  • $198 million to develop and support high-quality teacher residency programs
  • $197 million to create “grow your own programs” to address shortages of teachers in critical areas and increase diversity

That’s why we have good teachers for all students, good principals, good worker development and we have good free meals for our school.

We interviewed assistant principal Mr. Flores and this is what he said. What would it take to have outside food (food trucks\delivery)? And Mr. Flores said “that is not possible.” What is holding us back from being able to have this? “Arnold Schwarzenegger, our governor, a few years ago passed a healthy foods law that all foods and drinks sold in school had to fall under certain nutritional guidelines. So drinks like gatorade do not meet these guidelines.” What about kona ice? “That is for an event so it is allowed, it’s off campus hours. Students are allowed to bring their own food of any kind.” 

      What about promoting a business on campus? “Havana Savana for example, they gave our teachers free drinks and gift cards, normally it would be a no but if they say something like we’ll give you guys 1000 dollars then the staff will pass out flyers or something to the teacher.”  So basically there is no free advertising.

      What about a student promoting their own business on campus? “They need to talk to the admin and see, this is only if it is a legitimate business. So none of the reselling businesses.” In further depth, why can’t students resell candies? “You can not do that, you can not run a business within a school, also it’s illegal to have candy and unhealthy foods sold on campus.”

      We interviewed Principal Mr. Ferry to get info on a deeper level. What about having food trucks after school or during special events? “Unfortunately, there’s state laws that say the food we sell to students during school has to meet a certain nutritional criteria which also includes certain percentages of ingredients and vitamins,” says Mr. Ferry. “After the school day at open house back to school night; if you guys wanted to do a night time activity.” “What about right after school?” says one of our interviewers. “You have to wait about half an hour before school or half an hour after school.” 

      What about Powerade in the vending machines? “Our school is contracted with coca-cola and because of that contract we can only sell their products in vending machines” Coca-cola owns Powerade. “In order for our school to be allowed to sell Powerade it would have to follow the nutritional criteria.” says Mr. Ferry

      What about getting a special cart that staff can sell cookies and drinks such as izzies or high-c? “That could be a possibility, all we would have to do is get permission from the district and ask our wonderful lunch ladies if they can do that.”

      What do you think about school lunches? “I think that they’re pretty bland but also healthy,” says 7th grader Leila Barton. What is your favorite food to get? “I like the pancakes the most, ” Leila also says.