Poppin’ for popcorn: Buttering up the facts about this delicious snack


Popcorn awaits Northern consumers

Samantha DeBoer, Special to the nl

“There’s a lot of [popcorn day] that they do with the life skills piece which is valuable for them in their courses and life,” says Jim French, the principal of Portage Northern, speaking about the special needs students who run Northern’s famous popcorn Wednesdays. There have been many rumors both this year and last year that popcorn will no longer be sold on Wednesdays, which would be devastating to the special needs curriculum and developmental program as well as dramatically decreasing the profits they make that go towards funding social nights and field trips. These nights include bowling trips and other events that provide a fun outlet for the kids to build social skills as well as hangout with their friends and families.

Not only would these students be broken up about the loss of their popcorn day, however, students of all grades and interests had opinions to voice about the close loss of popcorn day. “Popcorns great… the best part of Wednesdays!” says Jerome Leiter. (11) “Why even come to school on Wednesdays if there’s no popcorn to motivate you?” says Ailee Pearce. (10) However, even students who were not fond of popcorn had an opinion to share. Muhammad Hasher (10) shared a story about how he once skipped health class because it smelled so strongly of popcorn that he couldn’t stand it. “I hate popcorn, but I still think it should be sold because it motivates so many people every week,” he says.

The explanation for why the administration was to cancel the successful popcorn day lies within the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Although this was 4 years ago, the legislation is just starting to take place in schools across the nation. This new legal development ruled out popcorn as well as left the slushies in the Huskie Den without knowing if they could be sold this year. After talking with French, however, he has said that they have found a new recipe or way to make the popcorn that helps it to fit within the guidelines of the Act requirements.  Also, the slushies are 100% fruit juice so they have also been able to continue to be sold this year. Many students and staff have strong opinions on this new legislation. Cassie Lins (11) says, “No I do not agree with that at all. It’s our decision to eat, when we what, what we want, and when we’re hungry.” However, French feels that it “puts people in a position to make good choices.”

Whether or not you agree with the school selling popcorn, this year it will be back and healthier than ever. “What’s the point of even attending school if there’s no popcorn to look forward to?” says Connor Dunlop, (11) “It’s the only thing that keeps me going through the week for sure.”


What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word popcorn?

“This one time I almost burned my house down trying to use a whirly pop to make popcorn. There was black smoke everywhere and the popcorn was inedible.” – Maddie DeBoer (9)

“Whenever I think of popcorn I think of the movie theater and getting to put as much butter on as I can… ugh that’s the best.” -Danielle Moore (11)

“That game we used to play on the trampoline… I was going so hard one time I kneed myself in the face and my nose bled so much it was absolutely disgusting” -Lauren Lalonde (11)

“Those sweet slow motion YouTube videos of people popping popcorn.” -Ian Holcomb (12)

“Last year popcorn day marked the middle of my week, hump day, the day we all wear pink; now my Wednesdays are as disappointing as Mondays.” -Megan McKenzie (11)