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Mpls Students Fed Up With Being Underfed At Lunch

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - There's fast food, and there's eating food fast.

Two sixth grade students, Talia Bradley and Antonia Ritter, feel too rushed to eat their school lunch at Minneapolis' Seward Montessori.

"I'd come home with a sandwich half eaten because I didn't have the time," said sixth grader Talia Bradley. "And if I rushed to eat I knew the outcome of it. You're going all day, feeling cranky and your stomach's hurting because you're hungry."

Talia and Antonia even timed their lunch for a whole month, and on average they only had about 11 minutes to eat.

Fed up with being underfed, the students took their cause to the Op-ed section of the Star Tribune.

The piece caught the attention of Minneapolis Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, so she decided to have lunch with the girls at their school, and even brought along a stop watch.

"I've been told that it takes 11 minutes to eat lunch," said Superintendent Johnson. "I'm starting the timer now."

Students have to cram a lot into the 30 minutes allotted for lunch and recess.

"There's the time going from class, down here, to our lockers, and then outside," said Antonia Ritter.

The girls may be on to something. Rushing through lunch can have a negative impact on your health.

Studies show it contributes to weight gain and a slew of other health problems.

Registered dietician Megan Thomas of Hennepin County Medical Center agrees. "It's a lot easier to just scarf down some junk food and just head out the door than sitting down and enjoying your meal," said Thomas.

Today's lunch clocked in at around 11 minutes, and that didn't sit well with Superintendent Johnson.

"I agree," said Superintendent Johnson. "This is a short amount of time to eat, and we should work to find a solution."

They didn't come up with a solution today, but school officials say they are working on finding something that works.

On a side note, we also learned today that the students will have another lunch option next year - a fresh salad bar.

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