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The Delphi

The Student News Site of Delaware Valley Regional High School

The Delphi

The Student News Site of Delaware Valley Regional High School

The Delphi

Lunch line changes: is nutrition that important?

The+cafeteria+whiteboard+explaining+that+hot+lunch+is+no+longer+available+in+its+original+line.
Juliana Findeis
The cafeteria whiteboard explaining that hot lunch is no longer available in its original line.

At the start of the 2023 school year, the lunch line system at Del Val, which was once a smooth running system of lines, became crowded, messy and inconvenient.

The lines in lunch used to be set as follows: the furthest line for the deli, the middle line for hot lunch and the closest line for standard offerings.

Now they are set up with the furthest line for the deli, the middle line for standard offerings and the closest line for hot lunch.

The lunch lines have progressively gotten more crowded and a hassle to find the food students want as the year goes on. Lines flow into the hallway, wrap around tables and take up unnecessary space in the cafeteria.

“The lunch lines now are all right up against tables making it hard to get to my normal seat,” said junior Amaya Joassainte.

The new system of lines in the cafeteria. (Juliana Findeis)

This system has caused many issues within the lunch room, and staff have had to crack down on monitoring the lines. With a mega phone in hand, Dr. Ariel Gilbert controls a majority of these lines.

Gilbert is the new Supervisor of Security, Safety and Student Conduct and has spent her lunches watching the students and making sure kids aren’t cutting lines while waiting in line for lunch.

“Before big friend groups would cut in front of everyone, making whoever was first in line go back 20 spots,” said sophomore Grayson Basile. “The new rules in place let me keep my spot where it was originally.”

On the other hand, many students are upset with this enforcement of these line rules, complaining about having to wait in these lines and not being able to just walk into the line wherever their friends are.

The other issue, for students and staff alike, is the new order food is being served. Fries and other sides are no longer an option with hot lunch (unless specifically mentioned on the menu), and soup has jumped from one line to another since the beginning of the year.

These changes have caused frustration since kids often just want fries and now have to go to a different line, separating them from friends and their spot in the other lines. While this may seem like a trivial issue to worry about, this change has been the source of outrage from students.

The door to the cafeteria’s deli line where soup and cold sandwiches are. (Juliana Findeis)

“Whenever you want to enjoy the hot lunch, on a good day, it is no longer enjoyable without the fries being an option with it,” said freshman Paityn Gergits.

Jennifer Hason, the cafe manager, explained the rationale behind these changes, however.

“The reason we are here is to make sure the federal nutrition guidelines are being followed,” said Hason. “You really shouldn’t be eating fries every day.”

Hason emphasized the point of nutrition and the importance of it. She said there must be a part of the line that strictly follows to code what the federal standard is for nutrition purposes.

The way the lines are organized, such as the soup being moved from one place to another, is because of Hason’s outlook on Del Val’s cafeteria after newly transferring here at the beginning of the year.

“The reason that these changes are taking place is because I’ve come in with fresh eyes,” said Hason. “I’ve taken a look at what’s going in here and I just want to make sure all the students are getting everything they possibly could be offered in the most systematic way possible.”

From a nutritional standpoint, this order of lines makes sense. However, the way they now are set up, specifically the middle line and the right line, make it difficult to navigate the cafeteria. Additionally, the new system of lines was specifically requested by the school, not the cafeteria.

I’ve taken a look at what’s going in here and I just want to make sure all the students are getting everything they possibly could be offered in the most systematic way possible.

— Jennifer Hanson

The structure works in theory, but when put in place it makes it extremely difficult to enter or exist the cafeteria because of the doorways being clogged by the right line that snakes down the hallway. The middle line also blocks off easy access to tables and makes it so you have to shove through people just so you’re able to sit down.

The cafeteria feels more crowded, and this issue has bothered many throughout the year as it is more difficult to even walk over to the snack area to get a cookie or drink. It also slows down how fast the lunch lines move, and when people have places to be during lunch, like club meetings or teachers’ rooms, it’s a difficult time to make it where they have to go in time.

The change in how fries and items like soup are being served are also a reason for these slow moving lines. Now to get a full lunch, one often has to stop by two places in the cafeteria. This wastes time and makes it more difficult for everyone involved. By organizing the food like this, a student ID card has to have two separate transactions in one lunch period instead of being simply grouped into one meal.

This poll has ended.

Are you a fan of the new lunch line policies?

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The reasoning behind these changes is understandable, but the fact that they are slowing down the flow of traffic in the cafeteria and making it increasingly difficult to get lunch outweighs the nutrition guidelines.

Del Val students and staff are both split on their opinion of these changes, but I know that I’m against them. The way the cafeteria used to be set up made it a quick and convenient process to get an entire lunch, but now it is unorganized and a pain to find or buy a lunch with extras like soup or fries.

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About the Contributor
Juliana Findeis, A&E Editor

Juliana Findeis is a sophomore at Del Val and this is her second year working on "The Delphi." In her free time Juliana participates in multiple sports through Del Val, such as soccer, basketball and lacrosse. Along with sports Juliana loves spending time with friends and family.

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