Snack Time Should Be All Times

Students need to refuel during day

Snack+Time+Should+Be+All+Times

Augie Hawk, Editorials Editor

Every lunch, the school provides a plethora of snacks stationed right outside the cafeteria. But as soon as classes start, that food is removed. This baffles many students, including us at The Vanguard. We need that nutrition the whole day, not just during that period of time.

We’re a growing teenage student body that requires nutrients, vitamins, and protein to stay stimulated and engaged in our daily tasks. We go to a demanding school, and many students participate in a multitude of academic, extracurricular, and athletic commitments throughout the day. Consistent availability to desired energy replenishment is crucial to meeting those expectations.

The school emphasizes the importance of physical and mental well-being for its students, as exemplified by the sports requirement and available counseling. But those priorities need to be implemented throughout the whole day.

Students who miss the pre-school breakfast have no access to nutritious food until at least 11:30 a.m. Athletes who can’t or don’t want to pay for the Nicholas Athletic Center (NAC) Café must go from the classroom to the field without a chance to refuel.

The vending machines and NAC Café may seem like an adequate solution, but they’re not. Although each provides some food students are looking for, they are overpriced, and students can’t pay for them on a regular basis. Nor should they, if a perfectly good array of snacks is available within the cafeteria.

It isn’t in the control of Dining Services, however. Their limited budget is mainly dedicated to lunch, with breakfast cereal as an added bonus. Leaving the food out all day, the most obvious fix, would cost Dining Services more than their allotted budget because the school would go through the food more quickly. It would require staff to stay late and drive up the cost of the distributed snacks.

Asking Dining Services to do even more than they do now is not the only solution. If we want better performing students and athletes, why did the bins of free, nutritious snacks in the NAC before practices disappear? Why isn’t food weighed more heavily in the school’s budget?

But we can’t just throw money at it. There must be a level of responsibility from students, perhaps helping Dining Services monitor the distribution of food or taking food for later during lunch. Although we can’t request that all snacks be left out, a small selection of fruit, bars, or chips is highly beneficial.

If the school is courteous enough to grant these wishes, we students must do our part by cleaning up and maintaining the school’s code of conduct. We know how hard Dining Services works, and need to show our appreciation. The way we interact within the cafeteria, including how we handle our food, is as crucial as the nutrition we desire. We must strike a balance between the two to ensure the administration and students are happy, healthy, and ready to do their best for the entire day.