Free meals have students lining up at the doors


Malachi Keohuloa

Students are now encountering long lines for lunch due to new free lunch policy.

Malachi Keohuloa

This school year, all NHIS students received news that their breakfast and lunch meals were now free.

The free meals are from the State Department of Education which gives students free meals no matter what their family’s ability to pay. The purpose is to provide nutritious school meals for every student and remove the stigma that students and parents have when filling out the free reduced lunch forms.

“I love it. Cause now every kid can be fed. In the past, we had students that couldn’t afford it. Of course we still have students who still don’t eat even if it’s free. But this way at least every student has the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch for free,” said, Diana Agor, NHIS Assistant Principal.

The free meals have shown an increase in the number of lunches served which means that more students are eating and that the cafeteria staff will not have to be reduced.

“The lunch count is important in order to show results, a consistent quota which the admin needs to continue requesting for food and not suffer any decrease in meals or employees,” said, Jemeil Deliz, Health and Transitions teacher.

But while the lunch count has increased, only about half of the students are eating. There is a problem that students claim to have with the new policy.

Mahealani Makanani, a senior, said, “The problem I had is that I don’t get to make it to lunch on time. By the time I get in, the bell has already rung and I gotta get to class already.”

Others have said that more students eating have caused longer lines.

“Well, when you offer free lunch to everyone, the lines get longer and stuff,” said, Cerise Altobar, grade 9.

Students feel that a few changes will help with raising the lunch count.

“I think maybe adding a salad bar for the kids who don’t wanna eat the food that is made. And maybe a dessert bar too I guess.” said Ceriah Altobar, grade 10.
Agor said that there are some problems with the policy.

“In the beginning, there were some really long lines, like really long. So that kind of discouraged some students. But we have addressed it. Some other challenges are, we’re having difficulty finding people to help serve lunch now. Because in the past, the incentive was if you serve lunch you get to eat for free, but now everyone gets to eat for free. So that’s no longer an incentive. But we were able to make do, I mean there are some students who just out of the goodness of their hearts come out to volunteer. The middle school is a little easier because they do it on a rotational basis.”

More students are eating lunch due to new free lunch policy.
Malachi Keohuloa
More students are eating lunch due to new free lunch policy.