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The lunch rush: Does your child have enough time to eat school lunch?

Parents are reporting their children are feeling rushed at lunch time. Here's what school officials have to say.

Posted: May 22, 2019 10:46 PM
Updated: May 23, 2019 6:41 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - It's an important part of the school day. Lunch provides nutrition and fuel for learning; it also serves as a social time for students. But parents are now saying their students don't have enough time to finish their meal.

We did a Facebook poll on this, more than 700 people replied. We asked, “Do you feel your child gets enough time to eat lunch at school?” 19% say yes while 81% say no.

One of those concerned parents is Carolyn Frazier.

“These kids need more time to eat,” says Frazier. "The other day, I do believe it was Monday, she comes home and says I didn't get to eat lunch because by the time she got her tray sat down bell rung lunch period was over.”

Frazier says she reached out to the school to get some answers.

“I left a voicemail, I was not very happy. I wanted to know what was going on at lunchtime, why my daughter wasn't getting to eat,” she says.
She hasn't received a call back yet. So we went to the school and talked with Principal Teresa Schlichting.

“Yeah that certainly can be a problem if students felt rushed,” says Schlichting.

She says she sees no problems with their current lunch system.

“Students at Lincoln Intermediate have a 30-minute lunch period. So what that looks like, typically they have 20 minutes to eat and if they finish eating within that 20 minutes they also have 10 minutes to go outside for recess,” she explains.

We were also able to ask several students if they feel rushed at lunchtime, most say they have time, others say they do feel rushed at times. To those students, Principal Schlichting has some advice.

“Let staff know I wasn't finished and have a little more time to finish up their lunch.”

Schlichting says she would expect staff to allow that extra time because both she and Frazier see the value in lunch time.

“Having a sufficient lunch is essential for them to get through their afternoon of learning,” says Schlichting.
“That lunch is part of their nutrition for the day,” says Frazier.

To those people saying this is a problem in your school, you're advised to reach out to your school administrators.

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