Cafeteria Challenges

Zac Antao, Writer

Students noticed changes in the cafeteria cuisine. The cafeteria opened up to normal capacity for the first time in over a year this September. While students initially had some complaints about the cuisine, the foodservice subsequently improved. 

Two initial turn-offs were commonly agreed upon. One, lack of variety. The basic, fried chicken tenders, french fries, and reheated pizza made constant appearances in the cafeteria, pulling away from the breakfast for lunch and General Tso’s chicken the school once knew. Two, overpriced food. Students found themselves paying over five dollars for a couple of processed chicken tenders as well as three previously frozen french toast sticks. Another struggle for the cafeteria was the scarcity of healthy options. While the main course often consisted of fried foods, healthier snacks or side options would be in the back corner of the cafeteria away from the majority of foot traffic. Subsequently, very few students left with a healthy option on the side of their plate during lunch. 

What is most important is that the school has been able to rebound and rebuild the cafeteria cuisine into a more student-friendly environment with diverse options. After speaking with Ms. Stephanie, one of the cafeteria workers, the cause for the bare bones cafeteria became clearer. She said, “We had a lot of trouble purchasing and receiving food because of the effects COVID had on companies we use.” The effects of supply chain bottlenecks trickled down to our school. However, now that product is flowing through the shelves of the cafeteria again, students can get an idea of the cafeteria they knew was hiding somewhere. 

Over the last couple of weeks, great changes are visible in the cafeteria. There are healthier options like stir fry with bok choy and other vegetables, a variety of salads, ready-made sandwiches/wraps. The cafeteria even included some new dessert options such as frosted lemon pound cake and half-moon cookies to make a student’s meals a little more fun. The cafeteria prices stayed consistent. but the amount of food increased to give students a more complete meal. 

Altogether, our cafeteria has overcome the obstacles presented by the global supply chain failures and is continuing to slowly win over the hearts of students who recognize the strides the cafeteria crew is making. As strong communities do, our school persevered and continues to build a cafeteria that is better for the students and school.