Students at a Hastings college have been sneaking Uber Eats at lunchtime, with some claiming the food they get at school is atrocious.
Hastings Boys’ High School, which offers all its 800 students free lunches, has now banned them from ordering the takeaways.
There is much on offer from Uber Eats in Hastings: McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway to Burger King to name a few.
To some school students, it sounded more appealing than the school lunches where they get the likes of spaghetti and meatballs, sandwiches and pieces of fruit.
Over the past month, many have been ordering in Uber Eats for their midday meal.
But the school has put its foot down, sending a message to parents and caregivers yesterday.
“Over the last few weeks we have had an increase in the amount of Uber Eats being delivered at lunchtime,” the message read.
“This has also seen an increase in the numbers of cars arriving on site to deliver food etc. After discussing this issue with the headmaster the decision has been made to not allow Uber Eats at school.
“With the school’s ‘lunches in schools program’ and canteen there is more than enough food available for students. Any Uber Eats coming into the school grounds after 17th of August will be confiscated.”
RNZ spoke to some students outside the school.
Some students said they got Uber Eats because they were “hungry”.
“I love the school food but sometimes I get even more hungry ’cause we’re growing kids,” a student who got pizza, chips and McDonald’s from Uber Eats said.
Another student got Uber Eats “because we get a good feed”. The student called the school food “good, but not up to some standards – [not] good tasting food. The sandwiches are poor, appalling, they’re atrocious. “
Then a staff member came over, sending RNZ to the office of headmaster Rob Sturch.
Sturch spoke to RNZ, but would not be recorded.
Hastings Boys’ High was a pioneer of free lunches – with many other schools visiting to get ideas, Sturch said.
A lot of work had gone into supplying the boys with healthy lunches and they catered to all dietary requirements, he said.
New Zealand Principals’ Federation president Cherie Taylor-Patel did not believe the practice of students getting Uber Eats was widespread across the country.
“From time to time, you do get students who think about something to do and off they go and do it. When schools find out about it then they need to put appropriate things in place to make sure it doesn’t keep happening.”