The Monopoly of the Cafeteria


Mack LeBlanc, Staff Writer

Has anyone else noticed the monopoly in the cafeteria? I mean, $2.49 doesn’t sound like a bad deal at first bite. Yet by the last bite you realize how hungry you still are. So you think, “Yeah I’ll just get something else.” Oh, but if you do that, suddenly you’re spending five or six dollars and god forbid you get a specialty food.

So how bad is this, really? Let’s look at the regular $2.49 meal. In the pizza line you can get a slice, some fruit, and a milk. In the grill you can get a burger, some fries, and a milk. The formula is consistent in all the lines: a  hearty food, a side, and a drink. That seems fine and dandy until you consider that we’re growing kids. We need more than one measly slice of pizza with lettuce and Italian dressing touted as salad. Common sense is most teenagers eat two slices (or a whole pizza depending on your ambition). Yet if you get another slice you’re charged far past the “normal” lunch.

Now, let’s take a look at specialty items. For sake of the argument let us focus on the Chick-fil-A chicken minis. You can get a three piece chicken mini from the restaurant for $2.29. You can even get a whole chicken biscuit for $2.19. So why are we being charged upwards of three dollars for the same, if not less, food in the cafeteria? Even within school walls, you have to pay two to three dollars for a Coke in the line, but you can get a bigger bottle for one fifty at the machines twenty feet away.

A groundbreaking fix to this problem: an open campus. (Bonus: listen closely and you’ll hear a gasp from an administrator in the distance). Really, though, if we were allowed to just walk to endless amount of food places around the school, students would spend less money and eat better, the school would have to provide less food and specialty items. So you, distressed administrator, would be spending less money. This would also resolve the underground society of students that skip class to go get Sonic and Chick-fil-A, only to come back in the school to finish out the day.

I’m not suggesting that we fully get rid of the cafeteria system. There will be plenty of students and teachers that will not be able to take advantage of the open campus lunches, which would keep our lovely lunch workers busy.

So what are we going to do, continue the edible inflation? Or are we going to fight for our food? Peacefully, of course; don’t come for us, principals. The choice is ours.

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