An Evaluation of Winchester High School's Meals


For some, those choices are easy: students who consistently visit the burger bar every day
or swing by the panini press and grab a grilled cheese. For others, the choices are not so easy.
These students often check out a plethora of options before deciding what to eat.  

In deciding what to eat, students usually see what the hot lunch is. Sometimes, the hot lunch
appears … interesting and unique, while other times the hot lunch is tantalizing. In considering
the cafeteria’s best food, it must be noted that only the hot lunch is being evaluated because
it is the only section of the cafeteria that has a meal that changes daily. In addition, other
factors such as religion, allergies, and conscience beliefs are ignored when determining the
top lunches. Furthermore, lunches such as chicken tenders and the occasional “burger bar”
hot lunch are not considered because they are offered too frequently. Meals like “cod in butter
sauce” that serve one fillet of fish or one taco are unsustainable outliers and are not
considered in the discussion of best cafeteria food.

Usually, easy to make meals such as Shepherd's Pie and relatively large subs served with
chips are exceptional at WHS. Not only do they taste wonderful, they are quite filling, and
will not let students go hungry. WHS’ turkey meal served with gravy is one that is superior
in flavor and in portion size. Although one specific lunch is not explicitly the best, a general
trend can be observed. The size, flavor, and well-roundedness of a lunch contribute to its ranking.  

One might ask what constitutes a good lunch?  In my opinion, good hot lunches must have on
their tray at least three or four appetizing foods.  For example, if the protein is the only good
part of the hot lunch, then it is unsatisfactory. Take the turkey meal as a counterexample;
it contains not only a relatively tasty protein, but also great sides that include mashed potatoes,
a bread roll, stuffing, some sort of salad like Caesar Salad, and a fruit like cranberries or
applesauce.  Most of the time, all six subsections of the hot lunch are palatable, and are
often consumed by many students.

In the end though, what I believe the main focus should be is not what food is delightful,
but what food is sub-par. If Winchester can rotate these sub-par meals out, hot lunches
would improve overall. Therefore, Winchester should make a survey asking what food is
delicious and what food is not, to better improve students’ experiences when buying the hot
lunch, and on the school’s end, to generate more revenue (if the lunch program even does in
the first place) when more students buy the hot lunch.