After three months of hybrid learning, Vanden High School students and cafeteria staff member Christina Greenert report concerns regarding the school’s lunch system.
There are two cafeterias located on campus; Cafeteria A, located behind the P Quad, and Cafeteria B, located in front of The Cage.
“I just find it hard to get lunch and the food is always the same,” Dakota Brooks, a sophomore at Vanden High School said.
Students begin to line up at 11:40, and the cafeteria staff completes their service at around 11:50. Brooks had days where she would wait in line until near the beginning of her next period.
She says students struggle– particularly freshmen and sophomores because of the new setting in comparison to having to eat lunch via the pandemic in the 2020-2021 school year.
“Since school is still new here, people do struggle a little bit.” Brooks said, “I find it difficult to get lunch on a daily basis just because there are so many people.” She explains that having someone to manage the lines would allow students to get through the line and have enough time to eat.
In July of 2021, Gavin Newson launched a program that allowed K-12 students across the state of California to be eligible for free lunch; which in turn, resulted in a nationwide food shortage as of August 2021. Vanden become
s one of the schools struggling to provide enough
servings for students to eat.
“We honestly work very hard to get students through the lines as quickly as we can,” said Christina Greenert, the foodservice lead at Vanden High School.
Greenert explains that all schools are fighting for the same foods. Vanden is still receiving the same amount of food that feeds their old service order of 300 students. This is barely enough to account for the new 700 students that need school lunch provided to them.
The kitchen at Vanden faces a shortage of staff whilst working to acquire enough food for students. Her goal is to “make the food taste and look as good as possible.”
“The administration, along with the foodservice, believe that all students should be fed a healthy and nutritional meal every day,” added Greenert. She hopes to have a new kitchen built. The one Vanden currently maintains is over 50 years old and designed to cater to students from that time period, which is fewer than the number of students the food service is currently working on providing for.
Though there are no current plans for the future of Vanden’s lunch system, the foodservice plans to make developments one day at a time.