Current payment system for school lunch proves inefficient, burdensome to students

Students who eat lunches provided by JJ’s Catering are required to pay a sum of money for an entire semester’s worth of meals. While this may appear to save students the inconvenience of having to pay for lunch every day, it is an inefficient system that, if altered, would save students money and allow for more flexible lunch options.

Such a payment system is especially wasteful in high school, where students often skip out on meals to study, attend important meetings or eat food from the salad bar and deli. Requiring students to pay for all meals they may or may not eat in a single semester beforehand forces students to pay for lunches they may never eat.

A more efficient system would be to make students pay for each meal. That way, students would only have to pay for the meals they actually do consume, rather than waste money on uneaten meals or feel obligated to simply eat even when they do not wish to. Furthermore, this system would waste less food since students are not pressured to get meals that they do not always have the time to eat.

Such a system should not be difficult to implement. In schools such as Korea International School (KIS) and Seoul Foreign School (SFS), students charge their lunch cards and pay for every single meal they eat after they buy it, rather than paying beforehand for all their meals over a large span of time. As a matter of fact, in 2005, SIS students used to use lunch cards to pay for meals, and there were no actual drawbacks to the system that made JJ’s Catering change the way students paid for their meals.

If JJ’s Catering altered its payment system to emulate those of schools such as KIS and SFS, students would have fewer restrictions on lunch options. They would be able to focus on their academic and extracurricular responsibilities, eating food from the deli or elsewhere without feeling as though they are wasting money on prepaid and uneaten meals.