Free Meals for All

More eating, but longer lines

By Janae German

Who doesn’t love free food? Well, Skyline is offering.

This year Skyline is giving out free breakfast and lunch daily to ALL students, and not just those from low-income backgrounds. The access to free food offers the entire campus a better chance to eat every day.

Free access to food helps a lot in easing the stress of coming to school and not having money to pay for it. It also grants students the opportunity to buy other, more desired products from the school snack vendor, like chips, soda, and candy. “It’s good, everything is free,” Hollis Acklin, a freshman, said.

It would appear, from the longer lunch lines this year, that the policy change is working to get more kids to eat at school.

Free lunch impacts students academically too. “Lunch is lunch and everybody needs food, so I think it’s great. Financially, everybody doesn’t have the money to pay lunch. I think free lunch is primary to school because it keeps students energized and students ready to learn,” said Sam Hill, a nighttime lead janitor. Students who eat lunch or breakfast don’t feel as tired during the day and helps them be more attentive in class.

Oakland has offered free lunch to students for a relatively short time, first being offered exclusively to low-income students starting in 1946, and just this year at Skyline to all its students. It wasn’t until 1975 that free breakfast was given the same treatment.

So who do we have to thank for this amazing advantage? Assistant Principal Garret-Walker was enthusiastic to give the answer: “We have a really rich history of Oakland when it comes to low income, and students getting free lunch; and we can thank the Black Panthers for that.”

The Black Panthers, an influential Black activist organization, famously founded a school in Oakland in 1969 and gave away free breakfast to nieghborhood kids.

Having the advantage of free food gives students the opportunity to not worry about if they will be able to pay for their lunch.

So with all the free opportunities to eat on campus, is there really any reason not to get free food?

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