HHS Lunches Should Be Longer

Olivia Bratton, Editorials Editor

At 10:54 AM, the first of the three chaotic Hershey High School lunches begins.

Out of the seven hours that HHS students spend focused on school work, the teenagers only have a total of 30 minutes a day for themselves. Hershey High School needs to reconsider the amount of time that they provide their students for a lunch period.

HHS students have unfortunately become accustomed to the constant rush that comes with Hershey’s short lunches. After a long morning of what may include challenging classes, the teenagers spend their only free moment in the day rushing to eat and accomplish necessary tasks. Our students deserve an adequate amount of time to take care of personal needs, replenish their bodies, and relax and socialize.

Although some may argue that 30 minutes should be more than enough time to eat one meal, in most cases students do not find themselves sitting down with their food until there is close to 10 minutes remaining. Long cafeteria and bathroom lines limit the amount of time students actually have to consume their meals. Administration should consider the amount of time that students spend in lunch lines and attending to other needs such as bathroom breaks or refilling water bottles when considering the length of lunch periods.

Most importantly, HHS school lunches should incorporate enough time for students to consume a nutritious meal. According to a study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “Students with less than 20 minutes to eat school lunches consume significantly less of their entrées, milk, and vegetables than those who aren’t as rushed.”

The food that students eat during lunch serve as important sources of energy to fuel their brains and bodies for the rest of the day. With a short amount of time for lunch, teenagers are typically missing out on eating crucial components of a healthy diet.

Along with being a time to eat meals, lunch should be an opportunity for students to take a well-deserved break. It’s necessary for high school teenagers to be provided with an extended amount of time to give their minds a break and relax with friends. During a stressful school day, students need a lunch period where they have a sufficient amount of time to themselves. Lunch should be a chance for students to breathe, rather than have to inhale their food in a hurry.

In Hershey High School, students are struggling to find time to eat nutritious meals, take bathroom or water breaks, and socialize with friends during the limited lunch periods. If administrators wish to improve the well-being of their students during the long school day, they should reconsider the amount of time students are granted for lunch.

Let The Broadcaster know what you think.  Take our 2 question survey here: HHS Lunch Survey.