Lunch Lady Love

Caden Ollar, Reporter

Along with the many changes to school this year, it’s not a surprise that lunch would change as well. The lunch deliveries are something we’re all used to by now, but there is a lot of extra work that goes into making lunch now that there are COVID procedures. From the online orders to the classroom deliveries, the lunch process is definitely more complicated than in past years.

“We check the lunch order form and see how much of each item needs to be prepared.” Cafeteria Manager Rhonda King said. “We box the meals and put them in bags that we have labeled for each classroom and then the ladies will deliver them.”

Before the pandemic, the food being prepared would be left out like a buffet on the counters. Now, they have to be packaged, delivered, and picked up all over the school. That’s quite a big change from the old way. While they are delivering lunches, there is also extra sanitation that has to be used.

“We wear masks and of course gloves,” King said. “We sanitize the kitchen and work areas daily.”

On top of normal kitchen sanitization and protection, they also have to protect themselves and students against COVID. Add up the work of preparing the meals and looking at online orders, and there is much more work in total. The staff agrees with this sentiment.

“It has been very difficult with all the changes,” King said. “We have to box and pack everything to be delivered by a certain time. Some days are harder than others depending on what is on the menu, some choices are very time consuming to prepare.”

Some meals like salads only need a few ingredients tossed into a container, but other foods take time to cook. An industrial-sized oven can only cook so many chicken patties. Even with these time constraints, the lunch staff like to keep a positive attitude.

We love to serve the students and miss them very much,” King said. “We are so ready to have the students back in the cafeteria and our daily routines back.”

It’s clear from the amount of work the lunch ladies put into getting our food to us each day that they care about every student. They definitely deserve more appreciation. The next time a bag of food gets dropped off at your advocacy door, try to thank the people that worked hard to get it to you.