Food inadequacies encourage student innovation

It’s 10 p.m. on a school night. I am extremely hungry. I walk into the Midlands kitchen, looking for some food before going to bed. I find the same things I see every single day. The bread (which by the way is now being delivered in a nicer way, wrapped in what I think is butter paper and cling film) is available in a huge quantity along with a few slices of cheese, some milk cartons, and a few other items.

But my 16-year-old self is looking for something else. Something different.

Well, I end up settling on a Priyansha special grilled cheese toast (the special comes from the way I make it) and walk back towards my room to get ready for the next day.

At Woodstock, students’ minds revolve around food. 

Every day, there is that one email everyone looks forward to, and feels the absence of if it is not sent. This is the email from Mr. Ketan Swami, food services manager. It includes the menu that is sent each day, consisting of everything from breakfast to “p.m. snack.”

A lot of people end up skipping the column that is titled “p.m. snack.” This is mainly because it generally consists of the same items: milk, cheese, and seasonal fresh fruit. But there is a lot more to this snack.

All the other columns feature items that are served either in the dining hall or in the allotted snack locations during school, but the p.m. snack is served down at dorm level.

Every day, there is a box of freshly baked bread along with cheese or butter kept in the kitchens of each dorm. The students look forward to the food, as it serves the role of a midnight snack for many.

However, the girls at Midlands have recently started demanding more variety in the food that is sent. It all started with the cravings for cheese slices, which has escalated to people wanting things like coffee and tea in dorms.

Why is this happening? Is it because people are getting tired of having bread and butter every night? Or because they do not go for dinner?

Nobody knows.

For me, these items in the kitchen are just there to satisfy my hunger at night, or on a weekend when I wake up late and breakfast is over. But after hearing all of this, I feel like getting a packet of coffee or two won’t harm anyone.

It would just feel better and make the dorms more homely, as that is what everyone looks for and what the dorms strive to be.

But after I observed the Alter Ridge dining hall for three days, I found that more of the Hostel boys attend dinner there than the Midlands girls.

One of the possible reasons for this could be the slope. Most girls prefer cooking something in dorms to going all the way down the very steep Midlands slope to the Alter Ridge dining hall, along with having to change their clothes. (Oh no, dress code!)

Lots of people even get vegetables from the dining hall and cook them in dorms, as they prefer their own food over the school’s food.

All this just comes back to wanting new and different items in the kitchens to fill our hungry bellies at night.

Something needs to be done about this, as gradually, the number of people wanting to go to the dining hall is declining and the wastage of food is increasing.

Picture by Priyansha Agarwal 

Edited by Navya Sethi 

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