Limiting Students’ Food Intake: The New Lunch ID Rule

Unlike+past+school+years%2C+Cavaliers+now+have+to+input+their+school+ID+number+into+pin+pads+in+order+to+receive+their+lunch+or+breakfast.

Emma Riviera

Unlike past school years, Cavaliers now have to input their school ID number into pin pads in order to receive their lunch or breakfast.

Every student has a designated identification number that is given to them once they are enrolled in the Miami-Dade County Public School system that can be used to log into their student portal and to receive their breakfast and lunch for the day. At Coral Gables Senior High, this system had not been implemented prior to this school year. Having students input their ID number in a pin pad in order to receive their lunch is unreasonable, as it creates unnecessary commotion between students and the lunch staff, further resulting in the formation of longer lunch lines. 

Students already need to contend with sitting through endless lectures with the universally known rule: ‘no eating in the classroom’. When lunch time arrives, everyone is relieved to finally have a chance to sit down and enjoy their food with their friends. A sizable population of the students that attend Gables rely tremendously on the meals that the school provides for them, as their primary source of nutrition throughout the day. 

Whether it is breakfast or lunch, there are always people waiting in line to receive a meal. Now, with the implemented rule of entering your student ID in the pin pads provided, it takes even longer for everyone to obtain their food. Thus, the lines are becoming much longer and taking up even more of the students’ designated eating time. Some students forget to enter their ID and are called back to input the information, causing them to hold up the line even further. Not to mention, there is a risk of not being able to get any food if the student forgets their ID number on accident. 

“I think it’s unreasonable because now the lines are really long, longer than usual. Now it takes like 20-30 minutes to actually get food,” sophomore Brianna Alvarado said. 

Responsible for accommodating a population of around 3,000 students, the school rations the food according to the amount of projected students at each lunch. Since there is a finite amount of food, the rations can be small depending on what is on the menu that day. Some students need more than a slice of pizza or five chicken nuggets to satisfy their hunger, so they go back for a second serving. 

Really, it’s situational. …Some kids might be allergic to what’s in the 6000, so they try to get what’s in the 9000, but they already got what was in the 6000 so they’re left with nothing”

— sophomore Luna Santiago

Because of the new ID rule, they cannot go back for a second serving at any of the lunch spots throughout the school. Someone might say to just go buy snacks at the vending machine or any of the known snack rooms, but not everyone carries around cash with them.

“I personally don’t like [the ID rule] because it takes up too much time and it makes it all dysfunctional. It always takes me so long to get back to my friends and by the time I sit down, lunch is already over,” freshman Austin Barbery said.

As a result of the school taking into account the number of students who bring their own lunch, the amount of food brought in each day is altered to assimilate that number. Instead of reducing the amount of servings brought in, the school should reserve one meal for everyone and allow for students to grab a second serving once it seems like everyone who was planning on eating school lunch already got their first.

Although entering student ID numbers at lunch is a good way to make sure that everyone gets their one plate of food, it is a setback to those students who are left to find more food to satisfy their growling stomachs.