Food is something we, as living beings, need in order to survive and having a kitchen and cafeteria in our school full of hundreds of kids is a great idea. But having to wait ten years if you did not get to the line in the first minute of the bell going off in order to get the food, is not so great. 

There are two cashiers and one entrance and if you do not make it to the line within the first five minutes of the bell, you will be waiting anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but since lunch is only thirty-five minutes, that’s about a third of the entire lunch time. But hey! No big deal, right?  

So, you get to the front of the line only to discover the cost!  Cafeteria food should be affordable since it is not a gourmet restaurant, right? It’s three dollars for a one and a half dollar serving of fries; I did the math. Most restaurants sell their items for triple what they bought the ingredients for. This makes sense since most places buy their ingredients in bulk, fresh and at a lower cost to make the food themselves; meanwhile, the school buys a lot of frozen and premade foods to save time and energy. But there is no way that from a big bag of frozen fries a single serving should cost three dollars. Most grocery stores sell frozen fries for as low as twenty cents per one hundred grams and around five dollars for 1.67 litres of oil. One serving is one hundred grams of fries so one serving should be, and I’m being generous here, fifty cents counting oil. With the maximum markup rate of three hundred percent and tax, it totals to one dollar and fifty-eight cents. That might not seem like much, but this means cash-strapped students are paying almost double the retail price for just the fries. 

Regardless, the cafeteria has a sort of monopoly over the food. The closest place to get food apart from the cafeteria is the A&W on Shaughnessy Street, which is a ten-minute walk. So, you would have to eat the food in your C block class, which is a problem because some teachers do not understand that we do not want to spend ten minutes waiting for overpriced food, but they ban students eating food in their classes, and if you don’t want to be late, then options are limited.  

That leaves students with two choices: either skip lunch and wait until school ends or wait ten minutes and spend way too much money on food. We know how much work Chef Tony and the students in his program put in to making us food, but it really is not worth waiting five to fifteen minutes in line. The prices were fine where they were years prior, but not anymore. Ask anyone and they will agree the prices were better before. One aspect to think of that might soften the sting of high prices is knowing that the chefs are also paying absurd prices for the ingredients due to inflation, so it isn’t entirely their fault. 

Overall, the school needs to find a way to balance the cost of the food to keep the kitchen afloat while also making sure the food tastes good and students can afford it.