A writing lesson all about lunch

A recent assignment that Nick brought home contained a relevant topic and an interesting perspective from a 13-year-old Bremerton School District student.

The premise of the assignment was for students to write a letter to an imaginary PTA regarding their position on possible changes that could be made to their school lunch program.

Currently the Bremerton School District is in transition in regards to its main kitchens. As this school year ends and the planning for the next one continues, this assignment seemed like to perfect opportunity to let a user of the existing lunch program put forth his concerns, challenges and suggestions in his own words.

“Dear PTA Members,

The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) should consider making some improvements to school lunches.

School lunches could be healthier if students had enough time to eat and enjoy better ingredients and fresh cooked food. Most students think that school lunch is horrible. That is why a lot of students bring their own lunch from home.  Many times the cooked food served for school lunch is dried out and the portions are very small.

Not having enough time to eat is a problem. More time should be added to lunch time.

Many students would eat the healthier fruits and vegetables offered, but these types of food take more time to eat. When there is not enough time to eat it the food gets wasted and thrown away. Later in class we start to get hungry when we should not because we did not have enough time to eat the portions of food that we needed for the rest of the day. If we try to eat what we need, then we have to rush. This makes you feel bloated and uncomfortable when it is time to go outside.

The next thing to talk about is the waste. Waste could be reduced if we could only take what we wanted and what we could eat.

Many times we are forced to take the fresh fruits and vegetables even when we know we will not have enough time to finish it. Then it gets thrown away. Sometimes we have to take the fruits and vegetables even when we do not want them at all.  They are really bland when they are served raw all the time. Part of the solution would be to cook the fresh fruits and vegetables into the hot portions of the food being served so they taste different sometimes.

The last thing is that we know the food is prepared off site. It gets dried out because of this and the way that it is reheated does not make it taste very good. Many people do not want to eat it, but have to so that they won’t be hungry.

Cook more of the food on site so that it tastes fresh. Cook the food like you are cooking it for your family and use the same temperature, time and serving methods. Try to make the ingredients used from fresh items and less pre-processed ones.

So in conclusion, there should be an extension in the amount of time we have to eat, so that we can enjoy the food and have time to eat the hot portion and the healthier fruits and vegetables that take more time.  We do not want to keep rushing through our meals so that we spend most of the afternoon feeling bloated or hungry.

We should not have to take food we do not want. Cook fresher ingredients into the hot portions and serve it faster so that it does not sit around and get dried out and half heated again.  Correcting these problems could help students want to make healthier choices during lunch and feel better during the rest of the day.”

Nick Smidt, 7th Grade,

West Hills STEM Academy


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