LFA Student Athletes Hope for Healthier After-School Options from Sonia’s

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Photo by Avery Martin

Sonia’s snack shop features all sorts of snacks for the LFA community.

Avery Martin, Staff Writer

Sonia’s: the snack shop that is essential to the LFA community. Recently, Sonia’s has been the center of an issue regarding student athletes, and the options that are provided for food after school. Essentially, Sonia’s allows students to pay for delicious snacks, whether it be bagels or chips or so on, with their student ID throughout the day when the kitchen is closed. However, as Sonia’s is the only available option for food open to students after school, some student athletes worry about the constant cost or lack of nutritious items they encounter at Sonia’s every day before sports. 

Tri-season sophomore student athlete, Ella Gartz, claimed she is at school for at least more than an hour every day, and encounters this particular conflict often. When regarding available items at Sonia’s, Gartz explained, “While there are granola bars and even sometimes fruit, there are not a lot of healthy options for sports that would be sustainable”. In order to be energized for sports, it’s crucial that student athletes are offered sustainable choices.  

Another sophomore student athlete, Ava Trandel, discussed the lack of choices that serve dietary restrictions at Sonia’s for student athletes. A student who plays tennis in the fall and does yoga in the spring at LFA, explained, “I try to eat vegan most of the time, and they really don’t have many options, and if they do, it’s usually something that’s plain and not nutritious, “ and she continued, “and I’m just left feeling hungry and with a lack of energy for sports”.   

As student athletes make up most of the student body, it’s key that the LFA community works to come up with alternatives to this issue. 

Additionally, Gartz mentioned the economic burden that follows with this particular matter, as she described, “It takes an economic toll on my parents who don’t love the idea of paying for essentially vending machine food everyday”. As LFA is an socio-economically diverse school, the choice often comes to either not paying for food, and lacking energy for sports, or paying for food and facing an economic toll later on. Some may argue that Sonia’s snacks usually only cost between $1-$2, but if you are paying for food daily and maybe even a drink, it comes to at least $30 a month where most sports season lasts 1-2 months. With Sonia’s as the only access to food for student athletes, there are two challenges that come up: the buildup of cost and the need for healthier options. The answer seems simple, right? Just to offer healthy options at Sonia’s? Unfortunately, that solution seems to bring up another conflict regarding profits.   

“It defeats the purpose of making money”, expressed the main cashier at Sonia’s, Areli Aquino, when describing how previous efforts in selling healthier foods ended in mass amounts of food and budget waste. Aquino explained that, “Healthier options are just not chosen over unhealthier options”. This logic may be true, however, there are two possible solutions that can ensure food is not wasted and that student athletes are eating nutritiously: the creation of a school wide survey that asks students to choose their top picks from a list of healthier choices that could be sold at Sonia’s, and the selling of salad containers not picked up during lunch hours as options at Sonia’s. Both of these would be resourceful and efficient since new covid restrictions have brought the use of containers and the success of profits at Sonia’s depends on the preferences of students. 

Regarding cost, Aquino claimed she would bring up the idea of incorporating discounts on certain items, like water or energy bars, for student athletes after school to the rest of Sonia’s team. 

Although Sonia’s is a loved part of the LFA community, the economic burden and lack of healthier options for student athletes is one issue that requires change.