School Food Program: A Blessing or a Curse?
It's definitely a curse.
For many years, my friends and I always believed school food was a curse; it shocked us during middle school and only made us hate it more during high school. It was like an emotional roller coaster ride when it came to it. Sometimes we were happy in the ride, enjoying the food and praising it for being delicious. Other times we screamed in fear, because the food didn't look like food. More times than none we left the ride displeased because it either tasted horrible or tasted healthy, which to our young tastebuds, automatically meant "ew!"
The happy times for us though were usually when the school fed us items like mozarrella sticks or syrupy waffles, i.e. unhealthy foods. After all the schools decided to change their food programs to fit more healthier options, it seemed like the times we left feeling disappointed increased. We all complained continuously, calling the school food programs a curse we never asked for. We wanted nothing more than to go back to the days we filled our stomachs with sugary or calorie filled foods. It didn't help that our beloved vending machines were now filled with whole grain chips instead of donuts or cookies. It seemed like our school food life was falling down a scary abyss and we couldn't save it in time.
I remember how one time in high school, my principal emailed the whole school to inform us that if more of us didn't buy lunch, we'd lose the program. To m3 and my friends, that seemed amazing. The curse would finally be lifted! We wouldn't have to be put through disgusting brocolli, whole wheat sandwiches, and 2% milk ever again!! As my friends and I silently dared the principal to take away the program, other students were fearful. I wondered why they would act that way. Nine times out of ten the food was either attempting to be too healthy, tasted disgusting, or both. We could all learn to live without it. Right?
As I was soon informed by one of the high school teachers, the breakfast and lunch programs were needed in the school. For some students, they were the only meals they'd be getting that day. If the program went away, then that would mean the students would lose the only place they thought would never let them down: school. I couldn't believe my ears. Something as horrible as school food...was necessary for some students? What I always hated, was helping another student my age get some type of meal that day?
Those thoughts ran through my mind as I walked up to the lunchlady the following day. The teacher's words kept ringing in my ears as I took my tray of sweet potato fries, chicken nuggets, string beans, and 2% milk. My eyes watched as my friends gave me questioning looks, asking me why I got the food if (a) I don't like sweet potato fries or string beans and (b) I was just talking about how bad it was the other day. I looked up to see to see another student smiling brightly as she was given her tray of food, the look of hunger in her eyes something I wouldn't have noticed before the talk with the teacher.
"Because..." I said as I poked at the slightly warm chicken nugget with my fork. "...maybe it's actually a blessing more than a curse."