external image projectcitizen.jpg: OUR LUNCH ACTION PLAN


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UP SIDE: Research has shown that for all ages, a break is needed to perform their best. A different research shows that kids exercise 6% more vigorously at recess than in gym class, and a study in 2009 showed that having recess improved test scores. Also, children who participate in recess have less behavior problems in school. In the United States, 15% of teens are overweight, so if we have recess, we could cut that number in half. Moving around and exercising makes the mind more alert. Adults have coffee breaks, so why can't recess be like kids' coffee break?

DOWN SIDE: Research shows that kids become less attentive when a break is delayed. Another research shows that large amounts of discipline occur during recess. Recess takes crucial time out of the day. A tutorial or study hall should rank as a middle school student's recess. Many people belive that American students don't spend enough time in school as it is. Around the world, free time is a foreign concept. Few countries have adopted the custom.

SOLUTION: Some students like the idea of having a free period. All this really means is that students are allowed more freedom during tutorial. They could choose to do homework during this time, or they could go relax outside, in the gym, or even in the library. By letting students choose, they are allowed a much needed break to socialize and relax without taking away tutorial or class time. Another option is having an extended lunch. After students are finished eating, they could go outside in the parking lot where the basketball hoops are, or just sit down and relax.

Other Facts: As we all know, all of the elementary schools have recess. The high school also has some form of a recess. After the students are done eating their lunch they may go to the gym and play games. They may also go around and do other things. The middle school has had a sort of recess in the past and from what I heard the students liked it. On the certain day of the week one section of the 8th grade could play board games and go outside. Then you would alternate with another section of the 8th grade and so on. Though you would only get to have "recess" one day a week, it was better than none.

The Company~


The current company chosen by the Hampton School District to provide food services is Metz & Associates. Metz provides breakfast and lunch to students and faculty in all six of the schools in the district. North Allegheny is another school district that uses the same food service provider as Hampton. Metz & Associates use specially designed menus that are geared to help promote healthy eating habits. The company views itself as a leader in nutrition. Metz has created many programs that help to enhance the well being of the students it serves. To even further improve the service at HMS, the following topics discuss future changes which could take place.

MARKETING~
Marketing is the basis of all sales in the cafeteria. In order to improve the display of healthy choices during lunch at Hampton Middle School, a change of setup must be made. Click on the link below to view a map of how our cafeteria is currently setup and how the cafeteria would look in our plan for the future.

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As shown in the maps of the cafeteria, one of the primary changes which would benefit the Hampton Middle School food services is moving the salad bar and wraps to the middle of the food line setup. This way, these healthier options will stand out more opposed to having them nestled into the back corner of the cafeteria. Consequently, another change must then be made to fill the vacant spot off to the side. Here, all "extra" snack options should be settled in the area. Then, fewer people may be attracted to these less nutritious foods, and perhaps the possible new setup would even lessen all of the students' everyday intake of "junk" food. Lastly, a change not included in the visual above should be made in order to promote the eating of healthier foods is keeping the white 1% milk in the front of the coolers with the chocolate milk behind it. Students would be less tempted to choose the chocoolate milk over the white milk. Similarly, in the area reserved for snacks only, the baked chips should be placed in front of the fried chips for easier access to the healthier options.

QUALITY OF FOOD~

Food quality is one of the most important aspects of school lunches. The main debate for food quality is proccessed or fresh. Fresh food is definitely better than processed food. Unfortunately, the food in our lunchroom is mainly processed due to all of the extra time and effort it takes to make fresh food. One way we could improve the food quality of our school lunches is to ban fast foods, french fries, chemically processed foods, and soda. Instead, replace the soda with bottled water, fruit juices, and milk. Adding whole-grain breads, more fruits and vegetables, and more lean proteins will also increase the food quality of our school lunches. Research also shows that natural and unprocessed foods have a lower intake of glucose, allowing kids to leave the lunchroom feeling more energized and focused. We might also want to adjust the portion sizes of the menu options that we offer. A few healthier food options that we could add are turkey sandwiches, sushi, homemade soup, and baked chicken with rice. A school in California that made several adjustments to their school menu, reports that after offering healthier food and removing all chemically processed foods, student behavior has been better, there's less litter around the school, and fewer students are visiting the counseling office. Better food quality will also increase the number of students willing to buy school lunches instead of packing from home.
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Prices~dollar-sign.jpg
As you can see from the graph below, Hampton Middle School has around average food lunch prices compared to other schools in the US. Compared to schools around us, our lunch price is one of the highest. The only oddity of the information is that NA and Hampton have the same food company but NA's price is 5 cents lower. Many students think the lunch prices at HMS are too high, but not a lot can be done to fix the prices unless we switch our food provider.
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