Lunch at Ramaz is Back!

Lunch at Ramaz is Back!

Romi Chaovat ’24

Last year, everything at Ramaz was out of the ordinary. Students learned from home, had to wear masks and most notably were in charge of bringing their own lunches. Since Ramaz was not serving lunch as they did in past years, students had to put thought into what to bring for lunch and how they were going to get it. They could either order from specific restaurants through the school or simply make it themselves at home. Thankfully as Ramaz starts to get back to their old, pre-COVID-19 ways this is not a thought on students’ minds anymore. Now the kitchen and cafeteria are open again, and school-made lunch is available for every student whether they decide to eat it or not. 

It seems that the majority of the student body agrees that school lunch is better than bringing lunch themselves. When polled 75.9% said just that. One of the main reasons being the convenience of school lunches. Ari Goralnick ‘24 says, “I don’t have to pack my own lunch or go through the hassle of making it and I don’t have to carry it around with me” Many students agree with him and understand those issues. There is no longer a need to lug around lunch bags from home or plan out and prepare the food for the following day. Many students leave home for school between  6:30 to 7:30. While most of them can not take time at night to make food,  taking time in the morning to prepare causes unnecessary stress and disorder. 

One would think the main benefit of bringing your own food is simply the taste. People know what they like to eat and with this, students have the chance to eat what they enjoy every day at school. While some students do see it that way and find the school lunch unappealing, many disagree.e doesn’t like what is given as a hot meal, they can always make themselves a sandwich or a salad”. Students find that even if they do not like the particular meal of the day, they never go hungry or lunchless because of all the other food served in the cafeteria. Ramaz consistently and daily has a salad bar along with fruit and various types of bread and spreads. As those are fairly popular, everyday foods, students usually do not have an issue finding at least one food to eat during that day of lunch.

The more common answers around Ramaz as to why students bring their own lunch are variations of “tastes better than cafeteria lunch”, which are statements from a minority of the students. Another, less commonly heard reason is because of contamination, whether COVID-19 related or food-restriction related. Bringing your own food ensures no cross-contamination between allergens and a student’s food. Seen every day in the lunchroom is the peanut butter jar next to the toaster and bread. Because peanuts being the most common allergy, it is very likely for peanut butter to touch other foods and contaminate them. When students bring food from home there is a much lower risk of this happening as the food comes directly from the student’s kitchen. 

Unrelated to the food, another normality was brought back in regards to students’ lunchtime. Throughout the last year, the current cafeteria was a makeshift classroom and not a place for eating. Students would eat in random classrooms, the terrace, and other locations around the building. When asked if students preferred having a centralized cafeteria, a whopping 80% said yes. With mostly everyone eating in one place, students get to see peers they may not see as much throughout the day and talk to them. The cafeteria is not only a place to eat lunch but also a place to socialize with friends.

Although many students may not have strong opinions on the matter, this change from last year exemplifies how Ramaz is slowly getting back to how it used to be. Bringing food from home may have been fun while it lasted, most of the student body is happy it is over and all the inconveniences that came with making their own lunch are over along with it.