Class partners with Hyvee for healthy lunches


Harsh Singh

Food Survey Photo by Morgan Berk
Food Survey Photo by Morgan Berk
More than one-third of teenagers in America were considered overweight in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  At RBHS, the Exercise Health class is working with restaurants across Columbia to promote healthier but affordable lunch options.
Senior Jackson Dubinski said the idea started out as a classroom discussion about obesity.
“We were talking about how obesity has become an epidemic in the United States especially here in Missouri,” Dubinski said. “When we were discussing all the issues, we pointed out that the cheapest foods are also the least healthy. So instead of just pointing out all problems, we decided we wanted to make an effort to change our eating habits by writing proposals to some of the local restaurants where we go to for lunch.”
Senior Megan Soper, who also is in the exercise health class, believes students at RBHS usually buy food that is cheaper and overlook the nutritional facts. Soper said the RBHS students who go to Hy-Vee tend to get the pizza they offer rather than the salad because it’s more expensive. For a solution, students in the exercise health class sent out letters to multiple restaurants near RBHS to encourage healthier lunch options at cheaper prices.
“We came up with the idea that to work with local businesses and ask them to reduce prices for healthier food,” Soper said. “We wrote letters to Hy-Vee, Sonic, Taco Bell, Las Margaritas, Jimmy Johns and McAlister’s.”
In order to know what type of healthy lunches RBHS students prefer, the exercise health class partnered with the Hy-Vee near RBHS and created a survey asking juniors and seniors their favorite meals with higher nutritional values. Amy McKenzie, teacher of the exercise health class, said she hoped to receive positive answers from the surveys and restaurants like Hy-Vee.
“Hy-Vee has already reached out to us and is excited about the idea and teaming up together and offer affordable and healthier meal options,” McKenzie said. Students “came up with the idea and kinda just ran with it and so our goal would be the local restaurants would offer healthier eating options with discounted prices.”
After the juniors and seniors have taken the survey, the exercise health class will collect the data and inform Hy-Vee what healthy meal choices the students like. McKenzie said the creation and execution of this idea has been an entirely collective process.
“Really all the credit should go to Mrs. McKenzie though,” Dubinski said. “She made this whole thing happen by listening to us and then dropping everything we had.”
By Harsh Singh
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