Students enjoy both free breakfast and lunch for another year

Mountaineers have one less daily responsibility as they have access to free breakfast and lunches in the school’s cafeteria.

Unfortunately most students don’t know about this benefit.

“I was unaware that I could get free breakfast,” said junior Ashlynn Witt. “I might have to start taking advantage of it.”

Marie Russell, Head Food Service Associate, said she remains baffled by this lack of awareness.

“Many parents watching the news seemed to completely miss the nationwide free lunch program. This [free lunches and breakfast] isn’t just a Wachusett thing. It is a nationwide movement. Every school in America is now able to provide free lunches to all students – regardless of financial background,” said Russell.

For the rest of the school year parents and students will not need to worry about their account balances.

“Free lunch has always been around in various forms for low income families, but extending that offer to everyone is great,” said Russell. “In the past, some kids would have to deal with their parents not uploading money into their child’s account, but now that issue is gone.”

Some students said they enjoy having the program available even if they bring their own lunch.

“It’s nice to know that if I forget my lunch, or I just don’t want to eat what I packed myself, that I can go up and get a lunch,” said senior Rylie Falla.

According to Russell, more students than ever have taken advantage of this new program. 

“Our numbers [lunch sales] have grown by 20%,” said Russell. “Our breakfast sales have stayed the same, but we changed how long we stay open for. It used to be open for three hours, but now we’re selling the same amount in thirty minutes.”

Despite a sharp uptick in sales, the Regional’s Food Service team has used their reliable estimation techniques to ensure they make enough food for everyone.

“We always go off history. There are lots of factors to consider. Is it a three day weekend?  We consider the weather. Is it hot? Is it cold? But essentially, it is all a prediction based on history,” said Russell.

More than just cooking goes into getting the food ready to be served to hungry students.

“We have to make our purchases on Tuesday, and if we’re lucky it will come on time. We have on hand about one day’s worth of breakfast, so the timing has to be just right to have everything,” said Russell. “And the nationwide food shortages have only made things harder.”

Students said they definitely have their favorite meals.

“Mine has got to be the pizza,” said sophomore Dylan Brenn.

On the other hand, said Falla admits she favors the pasta.

“I love it [the pasta]! I get it every time it’s available,” said Falla.

Russell admits she enjoys a morning treat the most. 

“I live on the Übr [Ultimate Breakfast Round] cookies,” said Russell.