New cafeteria policy brings an end to long lines, but uproar from students.


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Mount Carmel students only have 25 minutes to eat lunch. Most of that time is spent deciding what you want to eat or waiting in the long line. A new policy instituted by Country House, the cafeteria vendor, which began on November 1, is intended to allow students to spend less time in line and have more time to eat.

According to Mrs. Kristine Kilkenney, cafeteria supervisor, under the new policy, students will have to put money on their account, then scan their ID to make a purchase. Students still can use cash, but instead of receiving change, those funds will be credited to their account for a future purchase.  Eliminating the need to make change should cause the line to move much faster.

However, the “no change” policy has left some students upset. In fact, in a quick survey of student reaction, eight out of ten students indicated that they do not like the policy. Three out of the eight said that their parents give them money for lunch and transportation to and from school each day. The students buy lunch, but now do not receive their change for the ride home.

A few students also argued that the line is not really moving any faster. One student wondered, “Did they really have to do this?”

Last year, the cafeteria workers, sometimes referred to as the “lunch ladies,” set aside money when students would say, “Keep the change.” They also frequently found money on the floor.  They collected over $550 in these ways, and with those funds purchased a plot in a neighborhood garden for a local family.

Even though students can not receive change anymore, they still can say, “Keep the change.”   The “lunch ladies” again have raised over $150 to date. They would like the students to help them pick where they want to donate the money.