Park’s new lunch options are seriously cold

Anya Panday

Park has finally begun to make-do on the long awaited plans to renovate different aspects of the high school. Among the renovations students have been anticipating, none are more exciting than the kitchen renovations. Finally, Park has a chance to reduce the risk of cross-contamination, make food safer for those food allergies or restrictions and potentially add sections of the kitchen dedicated to Halal and Kosher food. With the new kitchen renovations, it’s been easy to hope for a wider range of meal options that begin to add more accommodations for students, or simply better food. However, with the new kitchen renovations, Park has decided to move to a “bento box” system, which will only offer cold lunches.

This poses several issues for students at Park, but the main concern is the lack of lunch options. There’s only so much food that tastes good cold, and by switching to all cold lunches, it may be harder for Park to expand their lunch options to accommodate different dietary restrictions. 

For a while now, there’s been concerns about Park only offering PB&J’s and salads to accommodate religious dietary restrictions and food intolerances, such as Celiacs disease. If Park can’t modify their food options to be more accommodating with the option of both hot and cold lunch, I worry that a switch to all cold lunches will further limit suitable lunch options for dietary restrictions.

If you walk into any lunch at Park, the vast majority of people are eating one of the hot lunch options. Additionally, some of the best lunches at Park are hot lunches. Pizza, mac and cheese and the infamous orange chicken are all options at Park that will be gone with the new bento box system. There’s no particular reason for Park to get rid of some of the best lunch options, and students deserve to eat lunches that are genuinely good. By opting to only have cold lunches during renovations, Park is not only limiting their choices to accommodate dietary restrictions, but they’re getting rid of some of the best food.

The most obvious solution to this issue is to simply offer more dietary options with cold lunches. In theory, the bento box system isn’t a bad idea. It could be a cute way to pack lunches and offer more cold lunch options, instead of just sandwiches and salads. It’s also easier to conceptualize portion sizes and could reduce lunch lines. If Park is dead set on bento boxes, they need to give out adequate food for everyone at Park. There’s no reason why Park should continue to limit food options when they’re presented with the perfect opportunity to add more accommodating and genuinely good meals.