Off-campus lunch: the ‘student specials’ dillemma

Off-campus lunch all three years at MHS has been a tradition that students have flaunted and embraced proudly for decades but may soon be driving students back into the cafeteria.


Due to the high competitive prices of new businesses and their tendencies to offer no special discounts for students, off-campus lunch may soon be a privilege that many students will lose grasp of in the coming years.


The standard school lunch prices at Berner, Ames, and other schools across the district are designed to be affordable for lunch card swipes and family plans. At the main campus however, students have the ability to leave the building and purchase lunch at surrounding businesses. Over the past year, some places have raised their prices and others have removed student specials, making lunch at the main campus much costlier than the past.


‘Spoons,’ the new ice cream & cereal bar a few doors down from the high school for instance, has prices starting at $5 for cereal and $6.75 for the lowest priced ice cream (with all three flavors included). Long time favorite ‘Don Juan’ has raised their prices from $6 to $7 this school year.


Other favorite eateries, such as ‘Tropical Smoothie Cafe,’  have strategically made their discounts end at 10 am right before students can get there for lunch fourth period.  


Due to the rising popularity of these new establishments, some fear other businesses could follow suit and increase their prices.


This may seem insignificant, but it is in many ways quite the opposite. Students struggling to make ends meet might already have a challenging enough time purchasing food, and raising lunch prices will make this even more difficult.  


Sophomore students in specific who do exercise their rights to open campus are the ones that suffer from this scenario the most. While the majority of juniors and seniors have their licenses and a job to support funds for lunch, sophomores are often left behind and straggled in that middle block. Sophomores are additionally much more prone to  “sophomore eating syndrome” where they take advantage of these new lunch opportunities and buy lunch everyday.


In all means off-campus lunch is open to specifically give students the choice for more food options and is completely optional. For students who decline to leave the building for lunch, multiple facilities are available including the Cyber Cafe and the library for getting work done.


In comparison to businesses around the high school, the Cyber Cafe acts as a much  cheaper alternative option with similar lunch prices/options to those of Berner and Ames. By staying in to eat everyday for lunch though, students are losing the opportunity to leave campus for around forty minutes and come back into their next period with a clear mind.


Students should continue to exercise their privilege of going out to lunch despite these raising prices. Many local establishments such as ‘Town Bagel,’ ‘Zona,’ ‘Potstickers,’ and ‘Zim Zari’ continue to offer lunch specials to students.


Since prices will continue to rise at places where student specials are not offered it is important for students to manage their money and delegate where they spend it. Eating out is costly regardless of the restaurant no matter how much money the student specials take off.

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