An Apple A Day Keeps the Students Awake

Health Department Provides Healthy Food for Students

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An Apple A Day Keeps the Students Awake

McKenzie Gray, Staff Writer

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Alone at a table, the girl rubbed her stomach hungrily as everyone else around her munched happily on the delicious goodies they had brought from home. She had been in a rush to catch the bus and left her favorite Strawberry Shortcake lunch box on the porch. She turned when she felt a soft tap on her shoulder. Behind her, a woman dressed in a hair net and scrubs which were printed with her favorite cartoon: Strawberry Shortcake. The girl smiled as the woman handed her an apple, juice, and a sandwich. 

As a new year begins, the sad reality of many students not being able to have the luxury of a packed lunch is a constant in many places around the world. Students who are not able to receive food at home tend to suffer in school from hunger and the effects of a lack of energy from not eating. That is where the school’s nutrition department comes in.

“We just want to feed the kids,” Wilburn said. “That’s our main goal.” 

The lunch ladies are able to provide a large variety in the cafeteria from fully-stocked meals in the main lunch lines and snacks at the a-la-carte station; students are able to pay for food or receive reduced lunch if their family has a certain income. Since new laws regarding school food have come into play, the lunch ladies attempt to choose the healthiest alternatives to sugary, junk foods. 

“I don’t really have a preference for the school’s lunch,” senior Joseph Hamm said, “I really like getting a full lunch now when I couldn’t before. 

Due to the laws enacted during the Obama era, school lunches have been under more pressure to be healthier, but the food is not always well received by students. The nutrition department is under more pressure to put out food that is good for everyone while being tasty, so they have begun a new system to help with such a problem. 

“I think they do a great job,” Principal Randall Speights said. “I enjoy eating lunch several times a week in there.”

At the end of the day, manager Wilburn could not see herself anywhere else even though she has worked at Chapel Hill before. She has worked in the school’s nutrition department for about six years and worked efficiently for students to enjoy the cafeteria’s many available options to eat. 

“Our message is just we want whatever the healthiest thing we can provide to these students,” Wilburn said. “I think that’s it.”