New School-Wide Open Lunch Policy


Open-Lunch Art Interpretation by Becton Student: Rocky Esposito!

Kicking off the 2022-2023 school year, a new open-lunch policy has been set in place. For the first time in Becton school history, all students from grades 9-12 are eligible to leave campus during their collective lunch period. In previous years, only grades 11 and 12 were allowed to leave, but due to the growing population coming from Maywood, the rules were revised. With this drastic change in lunch time procedure, students and staff are still in the process of adapting to it. 

Most kids at Becton approve of the new open lunch policy because it makes getting lunch easier while also allowing a variety of different food selections. According to Hunter Xie, who currently is a freshman at Becton, lunch “gives more of a variety of food selections and also, while doing so, supports local businesses.” Xie feels as if the open lunch policy has proposed new alternative ways for students to be able to enjoy lunch how they want to. Considering the given amount of time students are limited to, it is essential that students stay in the vicinity of Becton, so they are not late for class. In fact, most students tend to have a set schedule of what they want to do during the free lunch period ahead of time, which compels students to practice time-management skills. The most popular restaurants students tend to dine at are Panera, Mediterranean bowls, and Pantry Mart. Whether it is going out to eat at restaurants around town, or just staying on campus, students are fond of the idea of being able to choose how they want to spend their time.

Due to the precise time given for open lunch, it is important that students are able to manage their time wisely. Junior Yzhan Barce-Dong shares a hack, “I order my food at least twenty minutes before we leave for lunch to make sure that by the time I get there, my food is ready to go.” It is important for students to keep in mind how much time they have to get their lunch before the lunch period is over. The best advice from students is to always plan ahead. The open lunch policy gives the students a new learning opportunity to be able to responsibly manage and distribute their time sensibly.

Another lesson students may be able to learn with the open lunch policy is being able to create an ideal weekly spending budget for lunch. Overtime, going out to eat everyday may be pricey; therefore, students need to be able to figure out how much they should spend when it comes to food. Tristen Ramirez reports, “Staying in for lunch is better because I do not have a job. therefore, no income. I would blow through all my money in a week.” Students who do not have a set source of income need to keep in mind how much they do spend for lunch compared to how much they should spend. As reported by students at Becton, those who do decide to eat out have a set budget anywhere from $3 to $20 a day. Students’ budgets seem to vary depending on their plans for lunch and if they do go out to eat every day. Creating a set budget for the week will be able to help students understand how much food really does cost and how to responsibly manage their money. An alternative option for students looking to limit their spending instead of buying lunch at expensive restaurants all day was to purchase lunch in the cafeteria instead. This would not only cut your spending but will also allow you to have more time to in the period to still go off campus while keeping budget in mind.

Lastly, students find the open lunch policy as a new way to be more social with friends outside of school. In past years, students were confined to only select areas to be able to socialize with peers during lunch, but now the possibilities are endless. Students are not only given the freedom to eat out during lunch but are also allowed to go wherever they want during given times. Jordan Gill, a grade 9 student at Becton, voices, “Some positives about the open-lunch here at Becton is that there are more options to eat at, other places that have very different food, and you can hang out with your friends while doing all of that.” Gill states that the given time we have can be used as a good way to be able to communicate with peers outside of class time and simply just unwind mid school day. Thus, students enjoy the new sense of freedom and responsibility they feel with the policy.

As a whole, the student body voices great approval of the new open lunch policy set at Becton. Whether it’s the vast variety of food options given, the ability to manage time and money, or the new ways to be more involved with peers, students are happy with the decision to open the campus for all grade levels. Abigail Large states, “It is a good way to get the students out of the school, but it is also a privilege.” Large understands that students should be grateful for the opportunity to be more independent when it comes to our open lunch period and realizes that the open lunch policy is a privilege that students should not take for granted.