Let’s talk chicken

We look into the abundance of chicken options on the school lunch menu

A+serving+of+chicken+nuggets+and+fries+is+a+common+meal+on+the+school+lunch+menu.+This+is+also+accompanied+by+vegetables%2C+fruit+and+milk.+

Aubrey Pe

A serving of chicken nuggets and fries is a common meal on the school lunch menu. This is also accompanied by vegetables, fruit and milk.

Aubrey Peckham, Staff writer

Presque Isle High School students have had a lot of chicken on their lunch menu in recent years. 

There have been comments that the school lunch has had too many chicken options. “I will say any form of reheated chicken is any high school’s comfort food,” social studies teacher Zack Powers said. “But it is also a phone-in for the lunch menu.”

Powers questions the health benefits of the chicken options, and suggested a bigger lunch that could be better for high school students. “My idea of a proper school lunch is like the Thanksgiving lunch – that is how lunch should be every day,” he said.

PIHS head cook Jennifer Keiser sees the value in food that is convenient to eat – and not wasted.  “We make finger food and fast stuff for students, because they’re always in a hurry,” she said. “Even when we make other stuff, the kids tend to eat the chicken option.” She emphasizes that chicken is not the only food being served. “We give students fruits and vegetables with every meal, so we have the salad bar and fruit,” Keiser said. “But I see most kids not getting either of those, or not taking advantage of those options.” 

Students echo the impression of seeing chicken on the menu a lot. “I feel like having chicken almost every day is overwhelming for me since I’m a vegetarian,” Jaicey McFadden ’26 said. “So there aren’t many options for me.”  Meanwhile, other students enjoy the multiple chicken options. “I think it’s great. I like chicken, and I would be upset if most of the options were replaced,” Vincent Sonesath ’26 said.

Keiser did say her staff makes accommodations for gluten-free and vegan students, “Students who decide they are vegan, vegetarian or gluten free just need to come down and let me know.”

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Keiser also talked about taking students’ suggestions for lunch. “We have been open and have given students the opportunity to come down and tell us what they may like to see on the menu, but students tend to just stick with the chicken options or not come down.”

To offer a suggestion of a dish you’d like the kitchen staff to consider serving for school lunch, check out the attached form.  The kitchen staff is eager to hear from students.