Kinnick High School brings back hot lunches on trial run
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Chicken nuggets with barbecue dipping sauce, mixed vegetables, chilled fruit and a choice of milk.
There were three takers Tuesday at Nile C. Kinnick High School on the second day of the school’s trial run to see how many students will forgo nearby fast-food joints for cafeteria lunches.
The high school hot-lunch program, which had discontinued due to lack of interest, is back on the menu for a short time due to parents’ pleas for cheaper and more healthy eating options, Yokosuka Naval Base commander Capt. Daniel Weed said.
The $2.25 hot lunch will be served for a four- to six-week trial period. Afterward, officials will crunch the numbers and gauge customer demand, Weed said.
“We hope to provide hot, nutritious lunches at the high school for a reasonable cost,” Weed said. “If it is popular, we will see if we can expand the program to provide additional services.”
But several of Kinnick’s students said Tuesday that they liked eating at Main Street, U.S.A. — the food court with Subway, A&W, Popeyes, Oriental Garden and Cinnabon — right across the street from the high school. Others mentioned Taco Bell and McDonald’s, also a short walk away.
Having choices and going off campus is a part of being an independent high-schooler, said freshman Kasey Rubio. “Cafeteria food is more for elementary and middle school students,” Rubio said. “I like going out to eat.”
Sophomore Deniesha Jackson, who was eating chicken nuggets from Popeyes, not from the cafeteria, said she also likes going out to eat, but added that money is always a part of the equation.
But many students haven’t heard about the program yet, so their numbers may grow from the few customers now, said Navy Exchange school lunch program coordinator Ellen Sapnit.
And, often, parents and teenagers hold different opinions about what constitutes a better lunch, she said.
At Yokosuka, the NEX operates hot lunch programs at Yokosuka Middle School and The Sullivans School. High school meals are prepared at the middle school and transported in insulated containers.
Lunch tickets are bought at the NEX customer service counter, and students pre-order their food by signing up each morning at the high school’s main office. The program could be a boon for the 10 to 30 families who qualify for the free and reduced program, Sapnit said. A family of four earning $32,500 or less qualifies for free school lunches; a family of four earning $46,250 or less qualifies for reduced-price lunches.
For more information, contact Fleet and Family Services or visit its school lunches Web page at www.cfay.navy.mil