OCRA Students Promote Lunch Loop Initiative

MHS students riding the Lunch Loop to enjoy local Larchmont eateries.

Photo Courtesy of Gabby Brussel

MHS students riding the Lunch Loop to enjoy local Larchmont eateries.

Ciara Doogue, Spotlight Page Director

Mamaroneck High School students have the opportunity to join the Original Civic Research & Action program, better known as, “ OCRA”, as freshmen. This program gives students the opportunity to take initiative within their community and find possible solutions for the problems they see in Larchmont and Mamaroneck. This year, a group of students recognized an initiative, which they call the “ Lunch Loop”,  that they hope will benefit both students and local eateries within our community. 

The initiative is being worked on by a group of students, under the guidance of AP Government and “OCRA” teacher, Joseph Liberti. Liberti says, “The Lunch Loop is a bus that will bring students from the high school to eateries in Larchmont or Chatsworth town. The loops will target students who have a free period either before, or after lunch, giving them time to take the bus, eat, and return to campus.” The Lunch Loop ultimately focuses on the connection between students’ limited time and ability to branch out to local eateries during their lunch period and the business of these local eateries. 

One of the students involved in the project, Gabby Brussel (‘24), says “ Our overall goal is to increase consumer demand in local eateries in the Village of Larchmont. We realized that during the week local eateries are getting less business because kids are unable to go during school hours.” The Lunch Loop will take 3 “loops” from and to campus. Students will receive a sheet with the times and pick-up locations of each loop. Brussel says, “All students will have access to the bus as long as they have a permission slip signed, and their student ID on them.” The Lunch Loop will give all students, especially those who cannot drive, the opportunity to eat at some of their favorite places during the school day. Brussel says, “ We have been in contact with both the Grange and Bango Bowls, and some businesses have even offered to create special gift cards for students who participate if their company allows.” 

The Lunch Loop had its pilot run on December 9th and hopes to be running daily by the spring. The Lunch Loop gives students the chance to do something social throughout the day in addition to widening food options. With hopes of the Lunch Loop having a daily routine, students will also be able to support local eateries on a regular basis. “ If the Lunch Loop is able to provide more foot traffic for businesses at times where consumer demand is usually low, it not only benefits existing eateries but also signals to future businesses that Mamaroneck would be a great place to locate,” Liberti states. 

The future for the Lunch Loop looks bright, as businesses and students become more excited for the spring. As OCRA students continue to apply their knowledge to various projects in support of our local community, such as the Lunch Loop, MHS will continue to benefit as well from the great efforts of both OCRA students and faculty.