The topic of cafeteria food has been a focus of Wilson County Schools the past several months, and Lebanon High School was no exception Tuesday.
Concerned parents heard their children talking about food running out in the lunchroom.
Director of Schools Donna Wright said new nutritional guidelines caused a reduction in items offered in the “a la carte” lines in the schools, which are usually the more popular lines with high school students.
The cafeteria food discussion “is going to be a conversation that is going to be taking place particularly at a lot of high schools across the country.,” said Wright. “With the new USDA guidelines, we’re going to see a reduction in offerings. The things [students] like are going to disappear.”
She said the tray lunch lines were not out of food.
“As far as tray lunches, there is food. We will feed those kids. We are not running out of food, some of the favorite foods we may have run out of.”
Lebanon High School Junior Jeri Troupe said she also heard about the shortage of food at the school. Troupe was fortunate not to have herself disappointed with an empty food line, as she began bringing her own lunch to school this year. She said the decision to bring her own lunch stemmed from long lines.
“There’s twice as many people in there than there were last year. I bring my own lunch everyday so I don’t have to stand in the really long lines. I didn’t start bringing my lunch until this year because I hardly had any time to eat after standing in line last year,” said Troupe.
The amount of time for lunches has also been a hot topic as students have complained about having less time for a lunch due, in part, to revised scheduling that started this school year.
According to Wright, there are five lunch times and each is 25 minutes long.
“We’ve got a full house at three of the four high schools. At Lebanon they’re running 2,000 kids through that lunch line. Cafeterias are short staffed, especially at LHS. Everyone needs to be patient with us, because it’s not only important for them to have time to get through the line and eat - but also to socialize,” she said.