EDITORIAL: ‘Even elementary schools have a cafeteria’

Editorial cartoon by Troy Cartwright
Editorial cartoon by Troy Cartwright
Editorial cartoon by Troy Cartwright

We want real, hot and fresh food on campus. We are tired of the day-old, soggy, microwaved crap available in the vending machines. We want options. We want to have a choice between healthy and junk foods. Faculty and staff members also would benefit.

We think Amarillo College should not renew its contract with the vending machine group that replaced the cafeterias. We do not want processed, fat-ridden and additive-saturated, sugar-rich foods. Like one student said: “Even elementary schools have a cafeteria.”

We want a deli with fresh sandwiches, salads and wraps. We want hot burgers, pasta, burritos, chicken and Asian food. We want the real deal.

We also think it would be awesome if there were a few options for coffee and tea for those days when we need a wake-up call so we can stay alert in our classes.

We think a study space is a poor substitute for good food options. If the only issue is money, then bring in food trucks to reduce or eliminate overhead.

Did you know that studies have shown that people who make healthy food choices do better in school and that our grades are directly affected by poor food choices? Well, it is a fact.

According to a study done by Dr. Paul Veugelers at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta in Canada, published in Journal of School Health, a high-quality diet is linked to a higher level of academic performance in schoolchildren.

The study reported that of 5,200 students tested, only 41 percent, those with good, healthy diet quality, were likely to pass the literacy tests compared to the 59 percent who were likely to fail due to poor diet quality.

The study showed that variety and adequate nutrition were positively linked with academic performance and that kids who ate fewer fat-related calories and more fruits and vegetables scored higher on tests. While we no longer are children, the same concept applies.

Our bodies need good nutritional meals to supply our brains with the vitamins, minerals and healthy fats necessary to process information. We want to succeed.

We need the college’s help. We are asking – no, begging – administrators to provide all your students with access to healthy food choices on every campus.

We want you to remember that the more successful your students are, the better your reputation will be as a great community college whose main goal is to help its students to succeed.

This college has come a long way since its inception, but if changes are not made to provide for student needs, it may remain stagnant rather than blossoming into a yellow rose of Texas which people are willing to travel great distances to behold and to join.

We hate to “badger” the administration, but we feel that this is a serious issue that needs to be re-evaluated with student needs and input being taken into account. The food issue must be addressed before any new contracts are signed.

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