Target: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Goal: Demand that lunch periods be long enough to give children sufficient time to eat
The average school lunch period lasts 31 minutes, only ten minutes longer than the Journal of Child Nutrition & Management recommends giving children to eat after being served. In many schools, this is not enough time for students to stop at their lockers, wait in line to get their lunch, and actually sit down to eat it. Some schools have colossal lunch lines, making it extremely difficult for the staff to serve all of the students before the bell rings. This is causing children to go back to class hungry, cranky, and unfocused. Students need a chance to recharge in the middle of the school day when they can socialize and take a break from academic rigors.
Although school nutrition has made strides recently, the time allotted for students to eat the healthier options presented has shrunk. As the recommended time to give students to actually eat their lunches is twenty minutes, schools need to figure out how to give each student that amount of time based on the number of students being served and how long it will take them to get their lunches and sit down. However, in most schools across the nation, we are not seeing this consideration. Kids are still fighting to get their food while still leaving enough time to eat, and often end up with cold food they do not even want to eat. Without enough time to eat, students go back to class with low blood sugar and have poor focus, affecting their academic performance.
A longer lunch period would not only afford students more time to eat, but more time for the staff to prepare the food more efficiently and at higher quality. Some cafeteria workers have suggested having at least a forty minute lunch period, which would allow the staff to prepare and serve half the food at a time. This would mean fresher food that can be served hot to all students.
It is clear that the current school lunch system is not working. Students are not given enough time to get their food and actually enjoy it, depriving them of the time they deserve to rejuvenate their minds and socialize. Demand longer lunch periods that will allow kids time to eat their lunch, instead of barely devouring it before the bell rings.
Dear Mr. Duncan,
Despite recent improvements in school lunch nutrition, it has come to our attention that many schools do not give students enough time to eat the healthier options provided. The recommended amount of time to give children to eat their food is twenty minutes. However, the average lunch period lasts only thirty-one minutes. This is not enough time for students to stop at their lockers, get through the lunch line, and eat their lunch. Many schools across the country have enormous lunch lines that take up to twenty five minutes to get through. By the time students get their food, it is most likely cold, and there is not enough time to eat it.
Because of this, children are going back to class without having had the proper time to unwind or the proper nutrition. Low blood sugar levels from not eating enough before the bell rings is causing students to lack focus, consequently effecting their academic performance. Kids deserve a time during the day when they can recharge from the rigors of academics. We urge you to help schools to implement longer lunch periods.
[Your Name Here]
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