Students upset over snack bar restrictions

Junior Kendall Kee purchases an item from the Warsaw High School snack bar.

Junior Kendall Kee purchases an item from the Warsaw High School snack bar.

Drew Dawson, Staff Writer

   When students head to lunch, they look forward to the option of purchasing from the snack bar instead of having school lunch. Lately, food regulations have been changed, so that means most of the food options that are available at the snack bar have been limited. Most students are upset about this because the foods they are left with at the snack bar are not “main course” meals. Pizza boscos, boscos and crispitos which are school favorites were removed from the snack bar. There are still many different items that can be purchased at the snack bar. These items are burgers, chicken sandwiches, chips (baked and regular), pretzels, burritos, ice cream sandwiches, chocolate muffins, apple juice and soBe water. Many students think all the choices that are at the snack bar are unhealthy and that taking away these few items aren’t changing that. “There isn’t one item on that menu that doesn’t have carbs,” junior Will Bunch said.

Schools do not choose what foods they can and cannot serve. A government department named the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regulates the foods that are allowed to be served or purchased. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)  set requirements that students should be ensured of an offer of both fruits and vegetables every day of the week, increasing offers of whole grain-rich foods, offer only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties, limit calories, reduce the amounts of saturated fat, trans fat and sodium. Items must meet these requirements to be offered or the service/school would be in violation. The only way for products to be offered again is if the regulatory agencies change their general standards. “I feel like we should be able to buy what we want from the snack bar. We know it’s unhealthy, but if we are paying for it, then it’s on us,” sophomore Destiny Lee said.

These requirement changes were made last year, the reason why the snack bar changes weren’t made until this year is because district food services director Brad Spencer didn’t want to come in and completely change everything that students who had been here longer than him had become use to. “Some changes aren’t like band aids it’s not better to rip them off all at one time,” Spencer said.

The school is looking for new snack items on a regular basis, especially since the bosco, pizza bosco and crispitos were removed. They are constantly contacting food suppliers and talking with producers at the most recent food show to look for new qualified food items that they can sell at the snack bar. “I’m trying trying to bring in corn dogs, pulled pork and bbq rib sandwiches. I’m ordering more pretzels since students seem to like those,” food service worker Angela Lomax said.

Students think DESE and the USDA should only be able to control what the food they get through the lunch line because it’s free but not what they purchase at the snack bar since they are the ones choosing to have unhealthy foods. “They should not be able to take things away from the snack bar because it is our choice as to what we put in our bodies, and if we want to go with the choices that aren’t as healthy, it should be our decision not theirs,” sophomore Casey Keith said.

“Students should be reminded that the school does have a good lunch everyday in the cafeteria that is for everyone at no cost, students who only purchase the snack bar should give it a try,” district food services director Brad Spencer mentioned.