Out to Lunch

Why is there a difference between Al a carte and the vending machine?


Everyone eats differently, whether it’s school lunch or home lunch. Al a carte is an option for anyone. Most of the Al a carte options are whole grain, yet the vending machine holds the same thing, just not whole grain. 

8th grader Julia Deister said she wishes there were more options to Al a carte. “I wish they had like what they have in the vending machine.” Deister is not alone. In a survey about lunch options, 60% of WRMS students said they think there should be some of the food in the vending machine on Al a carte. 

Dr. Stoltenberg, the head principal, said he doesn’t have anything to do with the actual food that is served. “All of that is determined by our food service, I control what gets stocked in the vending machines and concession stands.” 

So who does control the food selection on Al a carte? 

That would be Ms. Buchanan, head of the WRMS kitchen. She is the one who decides what goes on Al a carte.

7th and 8th graders have the option to purchase different food items off Al a carte. 8th grader Haleigh Morrow buys chips off Al a carte on Thursday, April 27th.

According to Buchanan, there are certain rules set by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) that all schools have to follow. “The FDA has set guidelines for any items sold during the school day to be consumed during school hours.” These rules do not necessarily apply to other foods consumed at school, such as vending machines, fundraisers, and concessions. These are determined by a different set of rules called the “Smart Snack Standard.” The Smart Snack standard requires: 

-Having the first ingredient as a fruit, dairy, vegetable, or protein

-Be a grain product that contains 50 percent or more whole grain by weight

-A combination of food that contains at least 1/4c fruit or vegetable

-The food must meet nutrient standards for calories, sodium, fats, and total sugars. 


For more information on the ruler of food service in school, you can go to these websites


https://foodplanner.healthiergeneration.org/  and you can find more information.