Are school lunches really cost effective or does it just appear this way? Penryn College have initiated a scheme to provide cooked school lunches for learners from Pre-school to Matric. Lunch is consumed during allocated time slots according to the learner’s Grade. The Lunch scheme is advertised as being cost effective and easier for parents as packed lunchboxes are no longer necessary. Parents are faced with the decision of whether to pay for school lunches or pack their child their own lunch. In making their decision parents will have to take into consideration the nutritional value of the meals provided at school, their child’s taste preferences as well as the time required to pack a lunch.
The school lunches at Penryn are soon going to be compulsory as the Lunch period will form part of the school day which means parents will have no choice but to pay for the meals provided. Other schools have been providing school lunches to their scholars for many years and it appears to be a success.
A questionnaire will be used to conduct the research. In order to set up the Questionnaire a Review of Literature containing a variety of sources will be used. The sources will help to recognize questions to be considered to answer the research topic. Parents from Penryn and a neighbouring school will be sent the questionnaire to complete. Permission for the research questionnaire to be distributed to the parent body will be obtained from the Principals of both schools.
Parents will complete the questionnaires anonymously, hereby protecting their right to anonymity and all gathered information will be confidential and used only for the purpose of the research. Informed consent from all the participants will be obtained as the questinnaire completion will be on a voluntary basis. The information gathered from the research questionnaire should be both valid and reliable since a comparison will be done between two schools and the sample size will be selected randomly. The responses to the questions completed by the parents of both schools will be recorded and compared.
A limitation of this research project may be that many parents may not be interested in completing the questionnaire and may not want to take part. The research is dependent on obtaining as many responses as possible from parents from both schools. Another limitation of this research topic is that very little prior literature and research studies on the topic exists.
Is the provision of school lunches a cost effective option or does it just appear this way becuase it is less time-consuming for the parents? Are the learners nagging their parents to pay for the school lunches because their friends are doing it or because it is something novel and interesting? The learners may seem excited about the cooked lunches initially but after a few weeks this may not be the case.
The learners may get tired of the menu and parents will have to start packing lunch boxes again. Parents are obligated to pay the full amount due for school lunches for the Term. The Term fee is non-refundable so if a learner decides he does not like the school lunches half way through, the parents will carry the loss. Parents will bare the costs of food for lunch boxes for the remainder of the Term.