Park’s new lunch boxes are fresh, innovative

Sarah Peterson

With Park’s renovations just around the corner, there has been plenty of buzz around the dining redesign. The renovation will include a new kitchen with updated equipment, healthier meal options and more seating with new furniture. As the kitchen redesign will take time and money, Park can’t cook hot food in their own kitchen for the next 18 months. This has required it to offer “bento boxes” — a reusable multi compartment box used to store different cold foods — for the next year and a half. While many students at Park may not know much about bento boxes yet, there are many upsides to the Japanese-style lunch box. 

One of the biggest advantages of bento boxes for Park students is that it will majorly cut down on waiting in line for food everyday. Lunch time is already short enough, and waiting in line for food barely gives students enough time to sit down and eat. Bento boxes would almost completely eliminate this issue. As the boxes will be pre-assembled, waiting in line will no longer take half of lunch, becoming more of a grab-and-go situation. This would majorly benefit students and give them more of the relaxing time that they need during the day. 

One concern about the current lunch system at Park is how much waste we produce. Whether it’s a lunch tray, a carrot bag or a treat from the snack bar, everything is disposed of in the trash. In order to become a more environmentally-conscious school, we must take steps to increase sustainability in the lunchroom. If the new bento boxes were to be reusable, this would majorly cut down on our waste impact as a school. Park has talked for a while about how we want to become eco-friendly, and bento boxes could finally take the initiative in reducing our waste. 

The multi-compartmental box may also offer healthier options than the ones we currently have for lunch. There have been complaints about the lack of nutritional value to Park’s meals — garlic cheese bread and Chicken n’ Waffles are just a few examples of Park’s unhealthy main courses for lunch. Some options for a cold bento box meal could include sandwiches, wraps and salads that come with fresh whole fruit and veggies. These meals will be more beneficial to a high schooler’s body and brain, and appetizing to more people.

For those skeptical of the new lunch boxes: it won’t last forever. Having a variety of cold lunches for a year and a half seems like a small trade-off for a completely upgraded lunchroom in the future, one that will offer hot foods again. In the meantime, bento boxes will provide everything that Park needs.