Efforts Underway ‘To Change The Culture Of School Lunch’

Efforts Underway ‘To Change The Culture Of School Lunch’

SNOW HILL – School lunch just got a little more exciting at Snow Hill High School.

In an effort to generate interest in the school’s lunch program, the school has rebranded its cafeteria. In addition to a new name — it’s now the Regal Eagle Café — the facility offers a variety of new lunch possibilities.

“We tried to change the culture of school lunch, providing kids with a variety of options,” Principal Kim Purvis said.

On Monday the school hosted a ribbon cutting to celebrate the cafeteria’s new image. Students were greeted with a sign above the entrance to the Regal Eagle Café as well as festive background music and a number of new lunch options. Instead of the usual two choices available to those buying school lunches, the cafeteria now offers seven options. The side of the serving counter that previously hadn’t been used now stores a selection of “grab and go” lunches developed by Odtis Collins, the school system’s food services director.

“We just wanted to give them more nutritious options,” Collins said. “It’s also quicker service.”

The pre-prepared meals include things like a tuna salad sandwich and chicken Caesar salad. Collins said the students had expressed interest in more school lunch choices and his department was trying to provide those choices.

“At the end of the day, it’s just what they’re asking for,” he said, adding that lunch was an important part of the day for students. “A good nutritious meal will fuel academic success. We’ve got one of the best educational districts and my job is to support the students the best we can.”

Purvis said school officials decided to develop a new name and image for the cafeteria to go along with the expanded menu. To give students some ownership of the new concept, Purvis put together a committee of teens and tasked them with brainstorming.

“It’s about the kids,” Purvis said. “It’s not about us telling the kids.”

Committee members came up with four possible names and distributed ballots during the school’s lunch shifts. The Regal Eagle Café was the winning selection.

Purvis said initial feedback from the Snow Hill students regarding the changes had been positive. She said they were thrilled to have the same choices their teachers had for the mid-day meal.

“They’re very excited,” she said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.