Is 20 minutes long enough for lunch?

Lanier+Lunchroom

Jose Quintanilla

Lanier Lunchroom

Is 20 minutes of lunch enough? Many students are unsatisfied with the short period of lunchtime they have. Why? Skinny day lunches are 22 minutes long, including transitions. It takes roughly three to five minutes to get to the Commons, not to mention,the vending machine lines, Saddle Shack lines, and the lunch line are always packed. Between walking to lunch and getting your food, you’ve already lost 10 minutes. You’d have to spend only seven minutes eating to allow for your three to five minute transition back to class. A longer lunch period would benefit everyone.
Many students (and staff) are overwhelmed throughout the day and deserve a break. Students need more time to eat and have a break from the continuous work they do throughout the day. Teachers get a benefit too: students being at lunch for an extended period allows for more planning time for the teachers, and potentially, a break for them too. On the other hand, block day lunches are more reasonable. I believe that if skinny days had a longer lunch period too, the outcome would be great. There would be less complaints from hungry (and tired) students as well as more time to spend socializing that most of us don’t get to have during class. I, and many others, find that school is much more enjoyable when you get the ability to have some time that isn’t constant learning. Many students are drained throughout the school day, resulting in poor mental health. If students had more free time this would give them something to look forward to.
Additionally, longer school lunches will have an impact on the amount of food waste from our school. One article states, “Longer school lunch periods, especially longer seated lunch times, result in less food waste as well as improved student performance, cognitive function, physical health, and social/emotional health.” I completely agree with this statement. Like the article said, a longer lunch period would result in less food waste. Everyday an insane amount of food is thrown away due to not having enough time to finish, or in some cases, even get started. Some of our students’ only meal is the lunch they eat at school due to families not being able to afford all three meals. For students like these, how are they supposed to stay healthy when they aren’t able to consume a decent amount of food? I asked a couple of students if they think longer lunches would benefit them, and these were the results:
“The lunches are short, leaving us no time to eat,” said Logan Laughlin, a freshman.
“Yes, because we would actually have time to eat and get a break, with the long lines it does not allow us to do so,” said freshman Armaya Moore..
All in all, a longer lunch would be beneficial for all students and staff.

Longer Lunch Periods in K-12 schools: Research Summary with References. (2020, February). https://kingcounty.gov/~/media/depts/dnrp/solid-waste/greenschools/documents/food-waste-longer-seated-lunch-periods.ashx?la=en