Is Lunch at 10 a.m. Okay?
Students across at least 60 schools in Florida are being served lunch before 10am, with cheeseburgers, pizza, french fries, tacos and chocolate milk part of the menu.
The Florida Department of Education grants special permission to schools to serve lunch outside the federally mandated 10am to 2pm time slot to cater to early school closing hours.
Winter Park Ninth Grade Center, for example, serves lunch between 9.28 and 11.28 every Wednesday, due to the 1pm early release students are entitled to.
High school administrators and teachers justify the early lunch service because the school cafeteria is open for breakfast between 6.30 and 7.30am.
David Stanley, senior assistant principal of the campus in Winter Park, insists no one has complained about the early lunch.
And Emily Levy, a social studies teacher at the school, sees the early lunch being important for students to beat fatigue.
Miss Levy said: ‘For so many who are dropped off at 6.50am, they get really tired before lunch.’
While Michael and Jordan’s ‘breakfast’ choices may seem unhealthy, the high school’s kitchen manager Sharon Rouse, 43, maintains that ‘well-balanced and nutritional meals’ are served to the students.
‘We use whole wheat buns for the burgers and low-fat milk,’ said Miss Rouse. ‘Our number one priority is to serve healthy food.’