Hamilton’s Lunch Frenzy


Tanisha Baliga

Over the past two days two students from Hamilton High School were interviewed, on their opinions and thoughts about the daily mayhem during the lunch period.

Anushka Mitbander and Sruthi Ramkumar, two students here at Hamilton High, were asked a series of questions about what they feel in regards to the lunch situation, including the food, lines etc. As of 2020, CUSD implemented a free lunch policy, allowing each CUSD student to have a single free lunch meal offered by the school. For this reason, the past couple of years have had an interesting lunch situation.

Both Mitbander and Ramkumar get lunch from the school everyday. When asked about the length of the lunch lines, which seems to be a common dislike amongst the students and staff, they said they were way too long; Ramkumar says the wait per line is approximately 15 minutes. They said a way to improve the chaos of the lines would be having staff organize the students, rather than there being just clumps of people scattered. Both of them go to the burgers, sandwiches and fries line the most frequently, because it is the line that clears up the quickest in their opinion. Ramkumar adds onto that by saying “the tater tots and curly fries taste good.”After they get out of the line with food they have about between 10 to 12 minutes left to eat their food. Many students with dietary restrictions such as being a vegetarian or vegan have complained that the school does not have enough options for students with dietary restrictions and both Mitbander and Ramkumar agree. They said that the school does not have enough vegetarian options, and the only options really available are the veggie burgers and salads. However there are two lines which allow you to choose what all you would like on your food, which presents a vegetarian alternative for students who choose to stand in those lines.

Hamilton High recently opened up one of their windows during lunch known as the “Test Kitchen.” This window essentially has a new recipe or item on the menu each day or week, but they switch up their items frequently. It is believed by the students that the intent of this option is to provide students with a healthier or fresher alternative as well as a variety of options. Mitbander and Ramkumar have both tried food from this line and these were their thoughts. “Yes, it is better than the food offered in the rest of the lines, because of the freshness,” says Mitbander. “I got food from there once, I think it was the chicken rice bowl or something like that and it was okay,” said Ramkumar. When asked about something they would like to see from the cafeteria, Mitbander said she would like to see a pasta option, because she thinks that it would taste good and students would like it as well as it being easy to serve. The cafeteria has served many meals and options over the months, yet Ramkumar and Mitbander both have their favorites so far. Ramkumar says the thing she enjoyed the most so far were the tater tots because of the crispiness and Mitbander says she genuinely enjoyed the teriyaki chicken bowl, as the vegetables and chicken filled her up and all the ingredients tasted well together.

The Hamilton High cafeteria does seem to have its ups and downs, but at the end of the day it provides a meal for each student, keeping them full throughout the remainder of the day.