Compost initiative in vain as sub-par lunch program continues


Photo Credit: Ben Solomon

by Luke Brangaccio, Staff Writer

Some will remember the days where the brown baskets of fruit could be found on each lunch line. Some could remember how bruised and unappealing these fruits looked. You would be hard pressed, however, to find someone who could remember actually buying something from one of these baskets.

The new composter seems a little bit untimely, especially as the number of students buying fruit is still consistently low. One would expect an initiative like this to come paired with an increase in compostable items, but instead, we just have new baskets to hold the same subpar fruit.

Hopefully, some attention will be shifted to the low quality of our lunch program following the arrival of the new composter. For years, the sandwiches, pasta, meatballs and bagels of this school have been of a lesser caliber than those of schools like Paramus, Northern Highlands or Pascack Valley, just to name a few.

A brand new composter is definitely a step in the right directions towards a total overhaul of the lunch system. Although no one likes to admit it, the food being sold here is disgusting, to say the least. Multiple times throughout my high school experience, I have opened up a chicken sandwich only to find a suspicious black mark in the meat, or a brittle bun that cracks into pieces after the first bite. I had hoped that after the slight price rises in a handful of items, these problems would cease. I was wrong.

If I could compost a chicken patty bag or plastic sandwich container, I would. Unfortunately, I can’t. Ironically enough, these items are the ones I see most in the garbages and on the lunch tables.

Previously this year, a limited time organic lunch program was put into place, and the quality of this food was visibly much higher than normal. Again, there have been some positive strides in the right direction this year, but a major overhaul is still needed. Is Pomptonian the right service for Glen Rock? How much more money can we afford to allocate to food? These are questions that must be answered in the coming years.

With just over 19 million dollars in the town’s budget, a more expensive food program doesn’t seem like too much to ask for, and with hundreds of thousands about to be spent on tennis courts that were just re-paved under five years ago, it’s evident that the town isn’t hesitant to spend big on the school.

For now, it looks like we have to stick it out with the same sandwiches and pasta dishes that we’ve known for years. The future does look bright for our cafeteria, however, but for now, at least we have a composter.