Everlasting Lunch Lines

Students gathered around one of three lunch kiosks at YLHS.


Students gathered around one of three lunch kiosks at YLHS.

Anjeli Webb, Photojournalist

Beads of sweat glisten around your forehead as you scramble to make it to the Corral in time to secure the ultimate prize: the piping hot lunch special of the day. You arrive and to your dismay, a crowd of students are blocking the way, rendering your dream of ever getting lunch before the lunch attendants run out that day, a mere fantasy.

Mustangs know this feeling all too well. Some long for cafeteria cuisine so deeply that they resort to sprinting for the gold à la an Olympic athlete.

Nathaniel Jones (10) uses the line on a daily basis and is critical of the pace. He complains that half of his lunch time is wasted standing in line to get a meal, adding that he “could literally watch a full episode of a show before…get[ing]…food.” His idea of a solution is to take inspiration from “one…[lunch attendant]…who has a system and goes really fast [whereas] but the other…[lunch attendants] are always super slow and take forever.”

School Meal Attendant Mr. Ethan Cornejo (S) is weary of constantly reminding students to have their ID cards ready while in line. Not having to shuffle through backpacks to find cards buried amongst crumpled paper balls of test results and loose pencils saves valuable lunch time. Mr. Cornejo explains, “Lately we have been opening two windows when staffing allows, allowing us to serve more food faster.”

Lunch line frequenter Kate Tachikawa (10) has had enough of waiting to get food. She relates this to partially being due to the availability of free school lunches for students regardless of ability to pay. Kate says, “I like the free school lunches provided, but it attracts many students, creating extremely long waiting times and lines.” If free lunches were not provided to all by YLHS, she believes that less students would crowd around kiosks, and those who actually need to get lunch would be able to efficiently do so.

Suppose free lunches were only provided to those who really need them, everyone has their ID cards ready, and all windows are open before lines form. Now imagine you are prancing gracefully, as you get a craving for melty, cheesy pizza. You stroll to the side of the structure lovingly referred to as the “quad,” equipped with your handy identification card that you had out before exiting fourth period; all ready to scan, dine, and dash. This is what lunch could look like, if only in our dreams.