Should More Schools Implement Longer Lunches?


It has been proven that longer lunches can increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables on students’ plates. It also allows for more time to concentrate on what students eat.

EvanKate Page, Assistant Social Media Director

Lunch is most students’ favorite part of the school day, and why wouldn’t it be? It provides food, friends, and fun. However, with lunch only being 35 minutes long students often feel rushed and don’t focus on their meal. The CDC shows that having longer lunches will benefit students. Providing more time for lunch also provides more consumption of food and key nutrients, increased selection of fruit, increased consumption of lunch entrée and milk, and decreased plate waste. Expanding the lunch hour will not cause much disruption in the day, just several minutes off of each class. Schools have been changing their daily routines to help accommodate students that need extra help or need time for work. 

  Millbrook High School had a smart lunch years ago to help students with their grades. Pre-Calculus teacher, Mrs. Yopp, was here when these lunch days began. “The smart lunch days had potential but students were not using them right, so there was no point in continuing them,” she said. When Millbrook had these lunch days, some students were required to meet with a teacher due to their grades. These longer lunches could be more useful if the students were allowed to use these days as they truly feel fit. 

  Similarly, Wakefield High School recently began having longer lunches once a month. During this time, students can use it for a multitude of reasons. A student at Wakefield High School, Junior Brooklyn Weiss, has used these extended lunch days in a multitude of ways. “The longer lunches have allowed a great break in the middle of the day to get lunch with friends that I do not always see, and has also allowed me to receive extra help from my teachers if needed,” she said. Whichever way students choose to spend the extra long lunch hour, they return to class feeling less stressed and more refreshed.

  Another Wake County School, Heritage High School, created a concept called pack days. On these days, teachers are not allowed to assign work or teach anything. Junior Greyson Gyure, a student at Heritage High School, shared her thoughts on pack days:“I enjoy having these days and having the opportunity to catch up on work.” Gyure explains that she often works on projects these days since teachers often assign projects the week of a pack day. Furthermore, Heritage also has husky help where 30 extra minutes are given in a different class based on the day, where students can get help, study, or go to the gym/cafeteria. These opportunities have significantly helped students focus on what they need to do and make a game plan for the future. 

   One-on-one time is the most beneficial way some students can receive help. If used appropriately, it can significantly help students during the school day and after school. Students, such as junior Elizabeth Brady, often have after-school activities that take up time that could be used for homework. Brady said, “I think having a chance to get work done during the day and having the availability to meet with teachers is a valuable way to use my time.” Expanding lunch time comes with responsibilities but provides great rewards.