Small Portions, Big Prices

Small Portions, Big Prices

alyssaDue to the recent news of the #lunchstrike2013, there has been lots of student controversy. Some upperclassmen or Niles West alumni have been calling the participants of the strike “spoiled brats” and “unappreciative kids,” without even knowing the conditions of the school lunch and how its quality has been steadily declining since the beginning of the school year. It’s not uncommon to hear nothing but complaints from my fellow lunch mates as they all approach the table one by one to come and eat their “lunch.”

“Are you kidding me?!”  junior Gretchen Sterba says. “They made the water bottle smaller, and kept the price the same. And look at my lunch!”

Taylor Hoffman, a junior, agrees. “Look at this piece of bread,” she says, holding up a piece of bread about the width and length of my index and middle finger combined. “It’s so small… like what is this?!”

“I mean, don’t get me wrong, these food portions are great for my diet, but if they’re going to reduce the portion sizes, then they need to reduce the prices, too,” junior Haley Mahoney-Muno says.

For anyone who eats lunch regularly in the cafeteria, you would know that the girls’ descriptions are extremely accurate. The food in the beginning of the year was great; a lot of students agreed that it was a lot better than last year. However, over the past few months, the amount of food we receive has been significantly reduced, while the prices have remained the same.

A lot of you are probably wondering how that makes sense.The answer is that it doesn’t. It’s really not fair that the people in charge of our dietary needs think that it’s okay to give us less food for the same price. We may be a privileged school, but that doesn’t mean that every student attending Niles West is fortunate enough to spend five dollars a day on lunch.

In addition to the steep prices, the food isn’t even quality! Too many times I’ve been served under-cooked pasta and watered-down soup.

I know that some of you may be thinking that we’re privileged. That some schools don’t even have lunches at all, and that they don’t have as many options as we do. All of that may be true, but the fact of the matter is that we’re not other schools. We are  privileged, but Organic Life and the school administration has ripped those privileges away from us with no warning. There is no validity in calling the Niles West students who are trying to make a difference spoiled simply because the school has made sure that we are accustomed to having quality food since I was a freshman. Then out of no where, I’m being served a small, cold piece of chicken and soggy lettuce.

I, for one, am proud of my classmates. We’re standing up for what we believe in, and initiating a change that will benefit us in the long run. Just because we’re young, doesn’t mean we don’t have a voice.

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  1. avatar

    But what happens when you go out to the real world and realize they are overcharging for everything and giving you nothing?

  2. avatar

    As a Niles NORTH student I can say that we over here support what the Niles West students are doing. Something has to change.

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  4. avatar

    As a former student, I could not believe that you guys are paying that much for lunch. The strike is a reasonable and its your right to do so as long as you do not force other students to join your strike.

  5. avatar

    I agree with the strike. The food is neither high-quality nor fairly priced. OrganicLife is a total rip-off. I get a pizza slice for $3 when I used to get a pizza slice, pineapples, milk, carrots, and bread for $2.25 in middle school. This is the greed of OrganicLife.

  6. avatar
    George S.

    Hey Alyssa – shoot me an email today if you can. Great story.



In her free time, Alyssa loves to read and download music. She is always looking for a new concert to go to, and she hopes to one day become a journalist for a music magazine, so that she could combine the two things that she loves most: music and writing.


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