Equitable Lunch Options for Students

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Moreno Valley High School needs to provide more vegan and vegetarian lunch meal options for its students.


The school is diverse in more ways than one: ethnicity, cultural celebrations, sports, and its many clubs. However, the school seems to lack a varied selection of lunch meals for its students, more specifically, the vegans and vegetarians.


The school does, however, offer a few meal alternatives to those who do not enjoy any animal-based lunches. These students are limited to yogurts, peanut butter sandwiches, and salads. Still, these aren’t equitable. We cannot expect the students to be restricted to these short options. The salads contain meats, like chicken, forcing students to remove the meat from their lunch, and the same goes for the pizza at the school.


Diego Rivera, a senior, believes the school should expand on their meal plans and gave his insight to what it’s like to eat lunch at Moreno Valley High School as a vegetarian. He removes the meat from his salads and proceeds to read the labels on the packaging. Rivera also confirms the toll this takes on a vegetarian like himself.

“I feel like the people around me are judging me for picking my food instead of getting something normal like everyone else” Rivera stated.


The lack of food variation for non-meat meals has left students to believe that their dietary habits are unethical and worthy of shame. Nonetheless, Rivera is able to look past this inconvenience and is simply glad the school’s food servers are understanding.


“It’s just a matter of doing something, like taking it up to the principal,” Rivera concluded.


It is, indeed, a call to action that we as students need to take up to the district.


Kim Severson, in the New York Times’ Will the Trump Era Transform the School Lunch, stated that “districts can apply for exceptions” when it comes to the meal selection the school provides. Severson continued on to say that the “…taste and quality can hinge on something as simple as the attitude of a principal…” meaning that the school’s administration needs to take charge and petition for equitable lunches.


Students should not have to feel excluded or judged by their peers, simply for their eating styles, much less should they need a doctor’s note in order to be eligible for the soy milk the school is supposed to provide. The school is in charge of providing for its student’s needs and therefore needs to accommodate to its students’ dietary habits.