Cafeteria update: Where is lunch?

Students discuss their opinions on the continued bagged lunches and hope for hot lunches to return


Packing Up: Students walk into the cafeteria to grab their packed lunches. Julia Neal (12) said, “I wanted the catered lunches, absolutely. It’s so much better, and half the food is wasted because people only eat half the lunch.”

RJ Plunkett, Reporter

Lunch at Oakwood has always been one of a kind. The cafeteria used to offer a plethora of options, typically coming from different franchises. This included: Fusian, Chick-Fil-A, W.G. Grinders, Firehouse Subs, and many more.  

Due to COVID-19, the school has switched from hot lunches to bagged lunches. Many students think the school is making this decision, however, this is not the case. The government still requires packed lunches rather than hot lunches. 

 “Not sure when we will return to breakfast. We switched to free lunches once the pandemic started,”   Laura Wahl, the cafeteria manager, said. “When students were learning remotely, the government started with free lunches for all people.”

Overwhelmingly, students want the return of the catered, hot lunch. A survey was sent to the entire 9-12 student body.


and out of 119 responses, 118 said yes and only 1 said no. 

“The bagged lunches are convenient, but I think most students would say the hot lunches are better quality, more filling, and taste better,” Woods said. “I personally never rely on a bagged lunch because I don’t know what I’m going to get or if I will like it.”

Students also prefer the bagged lunches more than hot lunches. The responses were lopsided, to say the least. Out of the 118 responses 113 said no and only 5 said yes.

Not only did students have the option of obtaining lunch, but also breakfast. There were many different options:: bagels, cereal, cinnamon rolls, protein bars, fruit, muffins and much more. One would see students walking around in the morning eating breakfast. It was a great option for kids who would wake up late and have an early study hall.


Out of the 123 responses, 115 said yes, that they would like breakfast to return compared to 8 who said no. Based on this data, one can infer what students want out of lunches and breakfasts for next year.

To figure out when we will return to normalcy, Dr. Paul Waller, Principal of Oakwood High School had this to say when asked for an update.

“We’re hopeful that regular versions of hot lunches and having different vendors coming in to serve lunch will resume next year,” Waller said. “The reason it hasn’t started is because we receive money from the government to offer students free lunches due to Covid-19. We’ve been trying to mix in some hot lunches, and if everything goes as we hope we’re going to resume next year.”

As of now, packed lunches will continue to be the only option for the remainder of the year.