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The Most Important Meal of the School Day

By: Alexa Szafranski (12th Grade) with reporting by Owen Ebner (10th Grade)

Photo By: Yakira Guttenberg (10th Grade)

As the first day of school slowly went by, junior Bailey Spitz was counting down the minutes until lunch: the only break throughout the day. When lunchtime finally arrived, Bailey and many others experienced a less than ideal lunch break filled with rain, wet grass, and dog poop.

“We were supposed to eat lunch by the Women’s Club on the grass. We ate lunch there standing, it was kind of raining and the grass was wet and there was dog poop on the grass so we didn’t want to sit down,” said Spitz. “We ate very quickly standing and it was really annoying and not a very nice place to eat lunch.”

With a return to in-person schooling comes the issue of social distancing during lunch, a time where masks cannot be a worn. Each grade was assigned different areas- freshmen and sophomores on the patio, juniors on the grass outside the Women’s League, and seniors on the roof. Yet when the first day came, Spitz was one of many who felt uncomfortable with the arrangements.

“Lunch on the first day consisted of getting rained on while sitting on wet chairs without a place to put my food and constantly having to chase after my things being blown away by the wind,” said Mark Levy (12th Grade) who ate on the roof. “So I guess it was more stressful than my classes.”

By the second day, the administration had already made improvements to the lunch situation. Tarps were ordered and tables set up for the seniors on the roof, and juniors were moved to the patio. 

“It’s really nice to be able to sit outside and be with my friends,” said Naomi Ohana (11th). “The patio has really nice weather and it’s a great chance to socialize with other grades now too.”

With the patio becoming quite crowded, many students feel cramped now during their lunch break.

“The seating is kind of bad I’m not gonna lie,” said Emanuel Pinhasov (10th). “The past couple of days, sometimes I get a table and other days I’m just sitting around in a circle (on chairs) but like I have food with me that I can’t really eat with one hand.”

Another recent change temporarily relocated the seniors to the Women’s League courtyard until the tarps for the roof arrive. 

“I’m so happy the seniors were designated to the Women’s League for our lunch area,” said Esther Nahon (12th). “It gives us a lot more shade to enjoy ourselves. We have more space and chairs and tables where everyone can be comfortable.” 

Another major issue on the first day back was the tardiness of the hot lunch program, coming over a half hour late. Yet by the second day, the arrival time had already improved.

“On the first day, it took a decent amount of time to get the food. But on the second day they fixed that definitely. They got the food almost right away,” said Dovid Budwick (9th).

High School Principal Dr. Jones and Assistant Principal Dr. Lieber have been working constantly to better the lunchtime conditions and hope that the circumstances for lunch have improved for all students.

“We had to make some changes already. The twelfth graders were on the roof and it was too hot. They felt really uncomfortable with the heat coming right down on them. We’re waiting for some tarp to come in, but until then we found a really nice spot. We rented out the Women’s League and now the seniors eat in the courtyard by the Women’s League,” said Lieber. “The ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders are on the patio, in different areas throughout the patio. But after half an hour if they get hot they can come inside and different grades go to different floors”

Even with some of the not-so-ideal changes, students enjoy having the lunch break to catch-up with friends.

"It's really hard to see your friends as you would normally in other years, so lunch is a good time to reconnect and stabilize the friendship," said Alina Sterenfeld (12th).

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