Two lunches: cleaner and less crowded

Kwynne Schlossman, Lead Features Editor

I sat in the dining hall with eager eyes watching my eager eyed classmates flood the almost unbreathable, cramped space, reuniting with their friends after the dreaded 90 minutes they were apart. I realized I suddenly needed water. So as one would do, I went to get water, leaving my backpack beside my chair rather than on it – rookie mistake. I returned to find not only my own, but all six chairs around my table gone. In the scant three minutes I was gone, some other students stole all of our chairs. 

Before Covid there was one lunch for the entire high school which happened to overlap with the middle school as well. The dining hall was flooded with faculty, students and the staff rushing to the hot bar before the line stretched too long. When we returned from Covid, two lunches were implemented to restrict contact between students – and in the process the problems with one lunch were revealed: crowds, messes, and inconvenient. 

With over 500 students and faculty eating in a single 50-minute period, the staff are challenged to provide the cleanest, safest space. 

With two lunches, the dining hall staff can ensure everything goes according to plan: the silverware cleaned, the tables sanitized, the food ready to be served. In addition, the staff would be able to use the 30-minute grace period to sanitize all necessary supplies. 

During the single lunch period, the hot bar, the most popular station, is flooded with lines stretching across the entire room. The staff are continually refilling the food stations. Going back to two lunches would give the staff time to prepare more food and guarantee there is enough for all the hungry community members. 

With three meals every day and the entire community to feed, the dining hall staff are invariably hard at work. From sanitizing tables and dishware,  to making mouth-watering meals, they are not allotted many breaks. Students often carelessly leave messy plates and tables, adding even more pressure to their jobs. With the new return of the reusable silverware, returning to the  one lunch schedule has caused a major stress on them. 

If two lunches were to return, students would be able to have a more leisurely break without the fighting of chairs and tables and the staff would have a longer, more meaningful break.