The School Lunch Conspiracy


Graham Hyde and Jack Myers

The cafeteria at Mcauliffe international may be on the verge of collapse. Our research has led us to believe that we rely on an almost underfunded struggling cafeteria. If new laws fail to pass and things keep going the way they are, the cafeteria may be in hot water.

The school lunch system was created in 1949 by the Truman administration after they realized that many young men were failing the military entrance exam because they were malnourished.

So they decided they needed to nourish the next generation in case of a military draft. After the bill passed, the FDA didn’t want to have the costs of these meals. Mostly that they needed to

“Serve at least two servings of vegetables.” In fact, they even tried to say that ketchup was a vegetable. So as you can probably tell, they don’t want to spend much.

First and foremost, the cafeteria only gets slightly more than 1 percent of the school’s annual budget, most of which goes toward teacher salaries. They only get 150,000 dollars out of the 11 million dollars. That may seem like a lot, but that is minuscule in the grand scheme of things. We have also learned that the cafeteria orders more fruit than anything else, which is also the most expensive. The second most ordered thing is Black Jack pizza which is also decently expensive. The other tricky thing is inflation is on the rise.

Another thing is that most of the year, fruit is out of season, and they will have to import it, which raises costs significantly. The way the cafeteria gets paid may seem counterintuitive. That is because they get reimbursed for every student that orders hot lunch, so if more kids eat hot lunch, the more they get paid. As more kids shift towards lunch from home, the cafeteria struggles to keep up. There is light at the end of the tunnel. With the passing of Proposition FF, all students get free school meals. Hopefully, that means that more kids will eat it, and they will be reimbursed more. However, it turns out that the school doesn’t get to select its meals. That job goes to the DPS food and nutrition department. As the Manager of Meal Operations, Gosia Holthaus, says, “The Food and Nutrition department has a separate budget from the school. We plan and budget cafeteria operations as a department for all the DPS schools based on the menu and student participation in the meal program. The school does not support the cafeteria financially; we purchase our own food and hire and pay food service employees from the Food and Nutrition department’s budget.” The 150,000 dollars goes towards equipment. So this issue may affect all of DPS.

In conclusion, we found that we have an underfunded cafeteria supplying our daily meals. In fact this issue affects most of Dps because all meals are distributed by the Dps food services meal operations. Do not worry there is a solution. If more people are willing to eat hot lunch, which is easier than ever since it is free with the passing of proposition FF. If you do that the cafeteria will have a chance.