In recent weeks, student complaints about the upper school lunch line have intensified—with some not getting food until just minutes before the period ends.
Upper school students have 25-minutes for lunch, and often only one person serves the main hot meal. Currently, 139 students are enrolled in the high school—and feeding that many students in such a short amount of time is difficult, to say the least.
Still, according to a Dec. 7, 2013 NPR article, this problem is not secluded to Brimmer and May. “The school lunch hour in America is a long-gone relic. At many public schools today, kids are lucky to get more than 15 minutes to eat. Some get even less time,” writes reporter Eric Westervelt.
Michael Finn Henry ’18 says the line is disorganized and inefficient, and because he is hungry, waiting to eat can “feel like hours.”
“By the time you get your food it’s too late,” Amarachi Nwachukwu ’18 says.
Mark Gasperini ‘16 arrives early or on time to lunch most days, but still waits in a long line, which curves back around the senior lounge. When Gasperini goes for seconds, he often finds several students still waiting for firsts.
As a 6’10” varsity I basketball player, Gasperini needs more nutrition than the average student. Freshman year, he attended Brookline High School with about 45 minutes to eat lunch. “Here, the lunch period should be extended from 25 minutes to at least 45 minutes,” he says.
Gasperini feels equally passionate about teachers who cut in front of students. “If students aren’t allowed to cut, why should teachers be allowed,” he says.
Dean of Student Life Paul Murray agrees with students that 25 minutes is not enough time to sit down and enjoy lunch. However, Murray says, “the problem is not the line and it is not the staff—it’s just the nature of the schedule. As a school, Brimmer feeds five hundred people over the span of five periods, which is a good amount of people.”
Furthermore, Murray agrees with students that faculty should not cut, but adds that their schedules are even busier, and sometimes cutting is the only way for them to have any time to eat.
Overall, the lunch period in general is a problem that the students, kitchen, and faculty have established.
Students should rest assured that the administration understands the problem. All the same, as Murray says, “it is not a problem that we can solve right now and everyone is doing the best they can.”