Lunch Shifts at Tuscarora: Is Hunger Distracting Students from Focusing in Class?

Due to the limits of the cafeteria size, most high schools split up their lunches into shifts to accommodate for the large amount of students, but which time is the most optimal? Nutrition experts have given a broad range of answers to the question “what time should I eat?” But how do students at Tuscarora feel about the eating schedule assigned to them by the school?

Tuscarora’s lunch schedule is split up into four shifts, and each shift runs for 28 minutes. B lunch and C lunch both take place in the middle of class, meaning that students with this schedule are in their class, then go to lunch, and then go back to that same class to finish the block. With all lunch shifts spanning over a total of nearly 2 hours, this means that the time some students eat lunch can vary widely.

 

A Lunch: 12:46 – 1:14

B Lunch: 1:14 – 1:42

C Lunch: 1:42 – 2:10

D Lunch: 2:10 – 2:37

 

Alex Hernandez is a sophomore and eats A lunch on A days and D lunch B days. “I think A lunch is the best lunch shift because it’s a normal lunch time for me,” said Hernandez. “I get hungrier before lunch on B days,” he added, saying “I’m normally fine on days that I have the first lunch shift, but when I have D lunch I’m normally hungrier since I had lunch a lot earlier the previous day.” Hernandez also said he said disliked D lunch because it doesn’t give him enough time to digest his food. “When I have to go to workouts for baseball right after school I won’t be feeling good if I just finished eating at 2:30,” he said.

Wese Minyila is another sophomore, who has A lunch on A days, and C lunch on B days. Minyila thinks B lunch is the best lunch shift, since “you get to be in class for a little bit, have lunch at a reasonable time, and come back to class focused.” He also said it’s “harder to focus” in class when he’s hungry and waiting for lunch. Tala Rouse, sophomore, shares a similar view. “It’s more difficult to focus in class when you’re thinking about food and not what you’re supposed to be working on in class,” Rouse said.

Freshman Alper Kutlug is also on the same side of the argument, however Kutlug says “there’s not much that can be done to fix the problem [of students having lunch so late] because of the size of our cafeteria.”

Some teachers allow students to eat snacks in class before lunch time, but this is still dependent on the teacher, and whether the student even has the time in their day to pack themselves a snack in the morning.

Between students getting hungry leading up to lunch time, and teachers not receiving the full attention they require during lessons because of this, it’s safe to say that later lunch shifts are generally a lose-lose situation for classrooms at Tuscarora. However, a solution is yet to be found.