Most East students like lunching


Morton East seniors Jada S., Alex C., and Denise sit on the school lunch tables enjoying their morning breakfast.

At Morton East High School, the majority of the students speak of lunch and the cafeteria favorably.      

According to, “Kids who eat a healthy lunch at school have a higher nutrient intake not just at lunch but for the entire day. Providing a healthy school lunch helps decrease childhood obesity rates. A 2012 study found that children with fewer than 20 minutes to eat lunch consumed 13 percent less of their entrees, 10 percent less of their milk, and 12 percent less of their veggies compared to students who had at least 25 minutes. Adding just 10 minutes to school lunch period can significantly increase the amount of healthy food that kids consume.” In a random survey of 100 Morton East students, 65 had said that they enjoy the lunch experience that Morton East offers; 35 said they did not.  

“My job is to assist the food service managers with creating menus, budgeting, creating nutritional data, passing all audits, and health inspections,” said Malik Steward, the food service consultant for J.S Morton District 201.  

When it comes to lunch, students should realize there is more than just going up to a food station and getting their lunch. There are people behind the scenes that make it possible for students to have access to a healthy lunch and be provided with food that meets the government guidelines. 

“All meals must meet the guidelines given by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Meals also all have to be input into a Nutrient Database to analyze each item that is selected in regards to macro and micro-nutrients. The food is selected based upon the Food Service Manager’s request as well as what food items are currently in stock,” said Malik Steward.  

“All food is prepared On-Site in JS Morton’s kitchens. Scratch cooking provides a much better quality of food and here at JS Morton our cooks want the upmost best for our students,” said Malik Steward. 

Throughout the school year, the school also phases its own challenges when it comes to being able to provide the students with food. As it also goes into food shortages. 

“We tend to have a lot of shortage on chips, chicken nuggets, pizza, cookies, and French fries, etc.” said Betty Tinken, the Morton East food service manager. 

“Even though we might have food shortages, we still always manage to have food for everyone, and it always works out. We always improvise when it happens by replacing or rearranging the menu,” said Tinken. 

As the school year goes by, the school provides a variety of food items on the menu. This way the diversity among students is also met through the food. 

“The menu is created on a monthly cycle menu. The Food Service Managers all collaborate with the Food Service Consultant and decide what items are currently in-stock for mass production, as well as what new items shall be selected for the upcoming month,” said Mailk Steward. 

“We included recently vegan items on the menu, we hope that our menu offers a little bit of everything and for anyone,” said Betty Tinken. 

Students’ input on food also helps the food service managers and menu collaborators also be able to pick the ideal food items. 

“Mi platillo favorito del lonche de la escuela, seria la comida china,” said Jasmine Saucedo, a Morton East journalist. 

“A mi me gusta el burrito,” said Denise Santacruz, a Morton East journalist. 

“Something I’d like for the school to add is probably like the bowls they have at chipotle, you pick what it has in it,” said Kassandra Duran, a Morton East senior.