Talia Levin ‘20
This year, there has been some turmoil due to the lack of Friday lunch options in the high school. As a result, Heschel, and particularly the Hesed Council, has worked to ensure there would be pizza Fridays during lunch once again.
Last year 16-22 boxes of pizza were ordered weekly, depending on how many students were there. Even though every slice was three dollars, sophomore Maya Lerner, who has been on Hesed for two years, said that the profits basically paid off the cost of the pizza: thus very little money, if any, actually went to Hesed. In addition, there was hardly enough pizza for the student body. Despite the deal Saba’s Pizza gave Heschel, the school was still not making much profit.
Clearly, there was a need for reform. At the beginning of this year, the Hesed Council tried completely ending pizza sales. The salad bar was still open. If they did not want food from the salad bar, the shorter Fridays, due to the new schedule, allowed students to have lunch after school if necessary. It was also believed that it would be beneficial to clubs because it would allow students to get to their clubs faster. This was supposed to also benefit Hesed members who are in clubs.
Many students did not want food from the salad bar, however, so they skipped lunch. Even though there was always food available, the student body remained unhappy. For two months, the halls were filled with complaints about the lack of desirable food on Fridays.
Ilana Sidorsky, the faculty advisor for Hesed, said “The point is not to be the lunch program. It’s to raise money for Hesed.” She pointed out that it may be problematic that students view it as food, not a fundraiser. Ilana encourages students to keep this in mind when addressing the situation.
Lerner stated that this feedback informed Hesed that the lack of pizza was disliked. Hesed knew they had to institute a new system. Now Hesed orders eighteen boxes a week, and a different branch of student government sells the pizza each week. Slices still cost three dollars, but the school partially subsidizes the pizza so that more profits can go to Hesed and this semester’s cause, The Afya Foundation. Ilana reported that pizza sales earn a couple hundred dollars a week.
Many students like that they now have the option to have pizza and other student government members get to help. While the current system is an improvement for many students, it’s not perfect. Hesed members have been doing this for years and know how to handle the crowd, and there is a concern that other branches are inexperienced and may fall prey to students stealing pizza or disorganization. There is also the issue that it takes away from a core experience of being on Hesed. Lerner described it as a “rite of passage for Hesed members.” Still, it seems pizza is here to stay for now.