It is not uncommon for Avonworth students to experience a variety of changes throughout a short period of time. Although change is a consistent part of Avonworth life, changes within the cafeteria was a shock to many students. The cafeterias, throughout all the Avonworth school buildings, has experienced a sudden downturn of employees and new restrictions on their operations.
Staffing shortages are one of the most pressing problems that are contributing to cafeteria issues. Melissa Schad, the director of food services, stated that, “By the end of this month (February), we will be down to seven permanent employees in the three buildings combined. ” This drastic drop in staffing has led to Avonworth High School’s middle school cafeteria line to shut down. This lose in one out of two lunch lines has lead to a long lunch line formation on the high school side. Nate Gollings, a ninth grade student, stated that, “It takes like 90% of lunch to get through the line.” These frustrations with the long lines were voiced by many students that buy their lunches. Some students, who pack their lunches or do not eat lunch, have been seemingly unaffected by the new changes. Braeden Penrose, a ninth grade student, stated that, “I never get lunch, so it hasn’t affected me.” Adrianna Giusto, an eleventh grade student who buys from the salad bar, commented that, “[The] salad bar is better because you don’t have to wait in line.”Most students have found a place on two drastically different sides – frustration or indifference.
Students have also voiced concerns revolving around the disappearance of the microwave on the middle school side. There were previously two microwaves, one on the high school sides and one on the middle school side, that were available to students. There is now only one microwaves that students have access to, and this has caused a circle of students huddled around the microwave, waiting impatiently for it to be their turn. Junior Stephanie Cunningham summarized the experience. “Don’t even get me started on the microwaves.”
Although lines have become longer, other changes have been enacted in order to compensate for students desires and taste buds. Mrs. Schad explained that, “It is true that beginning in February, we have one less premium entree offered daily, but we did add another grab-n-go selection. This means that we continue to offer the Middle School and High School students nine different entree choices each day, along with unlimited fruits and vegetables and milk.” This section is located on the salad bar of the cafeteria, and it is a way for students to have quick meal that is prepared and ready to go
Spinach, from the salad bar, was also taken out as a food choice for students due to it being an unpopular choice. Instead, romaine lettuce was kept in order to craft salads, along with various toppings. Concerns with food choices and their profitability is a very valid concern for the cafeteria, due to the Avonworth Cafeteria program breaking even for the last two years. This creates more necessity to ensure that the products that they offer will drawl in revenue.
It is true that the students and staff may have to be flexible in the time period that follows these changes, but Mrs. Schad would like students to regard the lunch staff with, “-appreciation and not criticism.” The staff is working hard to balance the amount of manpower available, while still providing a fast and efficient lunch service.
Although it is currently unknown on how long these changes will last, the February 11th board meeting led to posting for a Full Time worker for the cafeteria staff. As more staff begins to get hired, it is likely that the lines become shorter once again.