Behind the scenes in the busy kitchen

Many students eat and criticize the school lunch without appreciating the work and effort that was put into it. A few people say they obtain it from garbage cans. Others say they use leftovers from other schools; however, those rumors obviously aren’t true.

The school orders their food from Prime Vender Upper Lakes Food. The food comes to the school precooked, and the lunch ladies heat it up in fancy ovens called Combi Ovens. With the Combi Oven, there is a screen and pictures of food. They can choose the food they want to reheat, and it will reheat the food with the perfect time and temperature. None of the food is disgusting, and it’s certainly not from the trash.

The lunch staff doesn’t plan the meals; they have a meal plan committee who plan all the food. They usually order the food at the start of the week, and the food arrives the day before they cook and serve it. It takes several hours to prepare and serve the food, and if there are any leftovers they throw them away. They switch up the menu a little bit, but the portion stays the same, and so do the vegetables. They usually spend about $8,000 dollars for Southview and Valley Middle. They make about 6,000 lunch meals per day, and about 400 breakfast meals. They make sure the price for the lunch meals aren’t too high, so students don’t have to pay too much, and can still have a lunch.

It takes lunch staff about two hours to make the food for Southview Elementary and Valley Middle. It can be stressful because they don’t have much time to cook the food. They also have to work in the summer because of summer school, but it’s not as many kids to cook for.  They clean the kitchen every day, and the janitors help them. It takes about an hour to clean, and it’s a little hard to clean the sinks, especially if they don’t clean it right away.

The reason why they have styrofoam trays is because they don’t have the time and the space to clean all the trays for the kids, but in the future, the kitchen may expand, and will have the space. They are less expensive than a plastic tray. They come in a box with 500 for $19.97 dollars.

It is important to be appreciative when it comes to school-supplied food. They can’t control what they attain, and they have restrictions of how to cook it and what to add to it. The lunch ladies do a great job preparing the food. A “Thank you,” or smile would always be appreciated by them.