The lack of food options in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School cafeteria has been an issue for students this year.
The cafeteria only offers one option for food in every lunch line, with three lunch lines total. Most of the time, the option is some form of protein, bread, and a vegetable. However, some students have problems with the limited amount of food available.
“I can’t have lunch most days since I’m vegetarian and they don’t offer those options. My best friend is gluten free and she can’t have lunch at all,” sophomore Alexia Padowitz said.
Padowitz isn’t the only one to voice such complaints. According to a recent survey by the Eagle Eye, over 50% of students are not satisfied with the food, or have some sort of complaint regarding the choices.
Of the 100 students surveyed, not a single person was happy with the food being provided, and 47% of students with allergies can’t eat anything from the cafeteria at all.
“I don’t have time to pack lunch in the morning, so when I see that I am allergic to the food being offered, it’s very upsetting,” sophomore Nina Khalouf said.
While the lack of food has a big impact on students buying lunch, MSD food and nutrition service manager Krystle Connell has been working diligently with the Broward County School Board to figure out how to deliver all the food to all MSD students.
“Currently, food is limited due to shortages from our distributor. The items that I order are not always delivered,” Connell said. “On top of that, we must meet federal guidelines for school meals, so our menus, which are already small, become smaller due to food availability.”
Due to the pandemic, there is a shortage of food in schools throughout the county. There aren’t enough workers to make the food, process it, and deliver it. While it may not be ideal, the staff in the cafeteria are working very hard to try and fix the issue.
“The cafeteria can only provide what gets delivered and what the national school lunch program allows,” Connell said. “There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that students will never see. I know it might not seem like much, but I truly am doing my best with what I have at the moment.”
As for the food given to students with dietary restrictions, when accompanied by a doctor’s note, students can request food specific to their needs. If they have a gluten allergy, are vegetarian, or lactose intolerant, they only need to inform the front office and it will be taken care of. While currently facing problems, the cafeteria staff will surely do their best to make sure students with all types of allergies or intolerances can eat the food at MSD.