Cafeteria Changes Take Students by Surprise


By Viviane Nguyen

The newly launched lunch lines as a result of a new Food Service Director for the district have left longtime buyers of school lunches stunned. The biggest change includes the newly raised prices.

The price increases has struck again, documented in the LCISD district price comparison chart of the past years. While the cost of lunch for each high school student has been raised 10 cents per meal to $1.90 (an acceptable rise in rate), the cost of lunch for the staff and visitors has jumped. The staff must now pay 40 cents extra (a cost of $2.75), a rate that will eventually cause a dent in one’s income. As unreasonable as the new price sounds, the visitors who come to George Ranch will now have to suffer 65 cents more than usual and have to pay a whopping $3.00 just for a simple meal. Fortunately, while those who eat lunch are burdened with the new prices, the cost of breakfast for everyone will stay the same at $1.10 for students and $1.40 for adults. With the surplus in profit to the school district,  it is understandable that the standards of the cafeteria became more lavish.

The refurbished lunch lines include convenient automatic utensil dispensers, neat chef salad boxes, and a plethora of Gatorades.

To the seniors who have been long accustomed to the old and familiar lunch lines that have been consistently dreary since the inauguration of the school, these changes have been received differently. Senior Amara Uzoka, was awestruck with the improvements.

“The dispensers are so innovative and forward; it was a fast improvement,” Uzoka said. She especially liked that there is now “a bigger variety [for] the food and drinks.”

Frequent to flock towards the leafy greens for her entrees, Uzoka was quick to notice the luxurious salads.

“The salads are bigger now,” Uzoka said, “and they have fancy tortilla strips!”

Besides the up-scaled salads, the choices of beverages have changed, as well. According to the Food Service Department changes notice, the dearth in juices was due to “new USDA requirements for fruit and vegetable servings.” The requirements have led the Food Service Department to opt for more vitamin-supplemented drinks, namely, Gatorade. The multitudes of new Gatorade flavors have yet to impress those with a strong opinion on their Gatorade. Senior Connor Taylor was upset over the “low-calorie Gatorades”; while more beneficial to one’s health, it seems the more sugary option has always been highly favored.

Along with Gatorade, a new line of beverages has been introduced: George Ranch’s very own label of drinks, including sweet tea and lemonade. The Longhorn-branded bottles were a surprise.

“[It’s] cool we have our own tea,” Senior Erik Le said.

Though the epitome of school spirit, the George Ranch labeled Lemonade has left senior Haley Marshall embittered. Because of the augmentation of vitamins in the drinks, Marshall could only comment on how “terrible” the lemonade was. Although the drinks themselves were deemed less than pleasant, they do represent a new dimension of school spirit. The other high schools in the district, such as Foster, have also adopted school-labeled drinks as a part of their menu, signifying a school spirit rebirth in the entire district.

Along with the changes to the original four lunch lines, a fifth brother-line to accommodate the influx of new students has been opened. This new line has taken on the nickname of “the International Line”, and presents something George Ranch has never seen before –an entire new lunch menu devoted towards ethnic foods. The menu, including Mexican food Tuesdays (quesadilla or burrito with Spanish rice and pinto beans) and Asian food Wednesdays (teriyaki chicken with rice and egg rolls), has had its first introduction to high school cafeterias. While the line is said to bring “international food”, the menu seems to underrepresent the variety of international foods. American-esque food is served Monday and Friday, while classic American tailgating food is served on Thursday in the fifth line. The “international” part of the line’s title seems to only reference meals served on Tuesday and Wednesday. Senior Jason Edokpa is disappointed in the lack of international variety; he wonders where “African food” is being represented. Whether the International Line deserves the title it has been dubbed, it has little relevance to its benefits; Edokpa acknowledges that the option of international food was “better than what [he] had last year [anyways].”

Despite the controversy over the fifth line’s menu, the line is a good solution to the copious amount of current students in the lunches.

While some appreciate the new effort and ease of the changes, still many remain indifferent. Senior Erik Le was apathetic to the changes in the cafeteria. Although he has bought his lunch every day, he simply cannot conclude whether the new changes are positive or negative.

“I really don’t care,” Le shrugs.

The new changes to the lunch system have struck the seniors with surprise. Despite their opinions, the changes done to the lunch lines should be seen as a positive change of development, a start of a new tradition. “Our new lunch line shows that believing in change is good, and in this case, it’s also very delicious, ” Uzoka states.