Round Lake’s Grub Grabs Students’ Attention

Round Lake High School has recently upgraded the food served to their students, but some aren't willing to step out of their comfort zone.

Round Lake High School and Sodexo are working to provide students with healthier lunch options.

Kendra Kreger, Staff Writer

     An impatient student, stomach growling relentlessly, waits in the long line,  surrounded by the small suffocating walls, anxiously hoping for a good meal. When he finally sits down  to eat a delicious cheeseburger at a table in the roaring cafeteria a bad taste floods his mouth—and floods him with disappointment. However, as the year of 2016 came to an end and school started up in August, students noticed a very big change in not only the serving area’s appearance, but also the food served. The food has actually improved. Students have reported that the waiting line wasn’t between two brick walls anymore and the food served wasn’t gross or unappetizing. Many have actually been surprised because they took a bite of food expected to be gross and delighted the flavor.

     It is important that schools make sure to serve meals that are both nutritious and enticing. After all, The diet is very important, as it has a huge affect on bodies’ the growth and development of the body. It is during the teenage years that their bodies grow the most, so what is served to them impacts whether their brain and body grow proficiently.

     “Food gives us the fuel to think and the energy to move our muscles,” said Registered Dietician Anne Wolf studying at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. “The micronutrients, the vitamins, the minerals are there so that our bodies can function. You need food not just to sustain health, but to feel better.”

 Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company, has been under contract with the Round Lake School district since the year of 2013.  For years, their menu was consistent, only serving pasta on  certain days as a specialty.  Sub sandwiches,  hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, and a small variety of fruits and vegetables are usually served every day. Sodexo’s current menu boasts pasta nearly everyday, as well as an Asian bar, which serves rice, vegetables, and different kinds of chicken. Additionally, the company also serves a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. Students’ options have increased, and so has the taste of the food served.

 Many of the changes won’t be noticeable if students aren’t trying some new type of food. “A lot of the food from the old menu has actually come back,” said Romesha Davis, the cook for Sodexo Food Services at RLHS. “There’s been a cut in the amount of students that are getting lunch and eating it. We’re trying to get the food to be more tasty because no kid wants to eat bland food, but they aren’t willing to try something different, most of them want the spicy chicken sandwiches.”

 The new food served isn’t very popular because some students aren’t really willing to step out of their comfort zone for a little bit. Davis said she has started cooking more pasta, but there’s only chicken alfredo and macaroni and cheese, so she said she wants to offer more of a variety of it, such as adding a meat sauce or something to put into the food.

 “Hopefully more people will want to eat the food and more of a variety of it so we can serve it more often,” Davis said.  “All we really hear are complaints about it, but I don’t understand why. Maybe if they would open their minds to different kinds of things to eat they would like it more. I’m trying to get good reviews, but without anyone willing to try different things, there won’t be any reviews to see.”

 Sophomore at RLHS, Kay Bonilla has seen the improvement of the school’s cafeteria food. “I think that the food has started to taste better and it isn’t stale anymore,” Bonilla said. “Last year I had some pasta that didn’t have any salt and it tasted so bad, all I could taste were the tomatoes, but they’ve started to season the food. I’m actually willing to eat the school lunch now.”

 Another student at RLHS, Daniela Sanchez reported an improvement in the food, “Well the school lunch is getting better,” she said. “It would be nice to have a bigger serving, but the variety and quality is starting to slowly increase.”

Now that the food has dramatically transitioned from dull and distasteful to delicious and detectable, many students have a desire for the mouth-watering scent trailing from the kitchen during cooking hours. Many are finally pleased with the explosion of flavor that bursts from the cafeteria lunch.