The End of Popcorn Wednesdays


“Popcorn Wednesdays” have been a tradition for the past few years. But, with new health requirements being set for schools due to pushes by Michelle Obama to make the country a healthier place, Popcorn Wednesdays might be a thing of the past.

“I can’t say with a 100% certainty that we won’t have popcorn next year but we know that we can’t do it the way we’ve done it in the past,” assistant principal Jason Frink said.

The popcorn itself is actually extremely healthy and meets all the health requirements, it’s the oil that poses the problem. According Frink, there was a change in the oil used to make the popcorn this year. They switched from a fattier oil to a healthier oil in hopes that it would be enough to meet the requirements.

Adam Leroy, the runner of Popcorn Wednesdays, is working the hardest out of anyone to find a solution, according to Frink.

“The guy who’s doing the most work is Leroy, hes putting a lot of work into making this work,” Frink said. “I appreciate everything that he’s put forth,”

One of the options is to air pop the popcorn but that method has some problems. The commercial poppers are too expensive and home ones wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand, according to Frink. As well, there are concerns that after finding a new healthier way to make it and then the air popped popcorn won’t taste as good.

“If we do all that [find a cost-effective air popper] and it tastes like styrofoam packing peanuts, nobody’s going to eat it anyway ,” Frink said.

Sophomore Austin Laurencig agrees with Frink about the bleak future air popped popcorn would have.

“It’s a good thing we’re going healthy but if it doesn’t have the same taste, then people won’t buy it as much,” Laurencig said.

Junior Libby Page thinks there might be ways around these health requirements by making portion sizes smaller.

“I’m in foods class and we’ve been talking about it a lot,” Page said. “We’re trying to find ways around [the requirements].”

These new health requirements affect not only Popcorn Wednesdays but also the Muffin Cart and Vinnie’s. And because these requirements affect those programs, they also affect funding for the art department, the foods classes, graduation and the drug dogs.

Many students aren’t happy about the possibility of losing Popcorn Wednesdays. As Frink puts it, Popcorn Wednesdays, as well as Vinnie’s and the Muffin Cart, are part of the tradition here at Portage Central.

“It’s a statement about who we are” Frink said. “We want students to feel like this is a place that they want to be at.”