Lunch: How It’s Changed and Stayed the Same

Kaelib Courtwright, Sports Editor

This year has been a challenging one for Ms. Susan Tavares, Ms. Patricia Cawley, and their food services staff. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the kitchen staff has been forced to adapt to the new requirements induced by COVID-19. Cawley said, “Food safety has always been our number one priority, glove sanitizing, hand washing were part of our everyday protocol. Masks became mandatory when schools closed in March because we never stopped operating. All department spaces were mapped with floor tape measuring six foot radius work stations throughout the kitchen, service areas, and shipping areas.” 

With the new environment, the staff has had to change their meals as well as their kitchen setup. Cawley said, “In the past, NK used many ingredients preparing meals from recipes and in small batches for the high school. Meals now are fully cooked and quick chilled for transport.”  This has resulted in many changes for the lunches compared to last year. However, students have generally responded positively to the changes. 

“I think that they have executed very well for what they have had to work with,” said senior Jonah Ellis. “The sliders are pretty good, and I enjoy the Cape Cod chips that they provide.” 

With the new school schedule dissuading students from bringing their own lunches, there has been an increase in the number of students who have received school lunches. According to Tavares and Cawley, there has been a 25 percent increase in students taking lunches home compared to last year. This has led to Tavares and her staff offering meals for the weekend on Thursday and Friday as well, in order to ensure students receive a proper amount of food. 

For the future, barring school being shut down once again, it seems likely Tavares will continue the process of feeding the school, and will shoulder an important responsibility. However, a silver lining to this is that the Grab and Go meals will be a permanent fixture of the NKHS meal, even after the pandemic. This is news that many students are likely happy to hear. 

Video by Lauren Frizzle and Eoifa Harrington