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Midlo Scoop

Looking beyond the lunch lines

An in depth behind the scenes look of some of our very own cafeteria workers.
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Photo by: Meghan Davis
Students get in line to buy their lunch.

At the sound of the first bell ringing to signal the beginning of A lunch, many students immediately rush towards the open commons to secure a spot in line. Many leaving their lunch for that day a surprise until the smell of the menu item hits them. Could it be pizza, french toast, wings, or steak nuggets? Many students solemnly think about what goes on behind the scenes for the cafeteria workers to make sure you have food at school worth waiting in that long line for, so what really happens behind that lunch counter? 

From the moment they walk through the door, there is no time to spare and the work starts immediately. For lunch manager Birgit Broyles the morning starts the same everyday, “I get here at six in the morning to prepare breakfast” Broyles said. Many students by this time are not even up. Broyles also checks the temperatures of all the coolers and freezers to make sure that none of the food could spoil and rot, and then continues to set up for the day. Cooking and preparing food is not Broyles only job, “I am in charge of taking inventory, completing timesheets, and ordering the food” Broyles said.

Everyday is similar for the employees.  “I get here at 6 am to prepare breakfast,” Broyles said. “I check the temperatures of all the coolers and freezers to make sure that everything is okay and I start to set up. I have someone come at 7 and they help me finish up breakfast. I have two people come in around 8:45 and they start getting lunch ready. And another person comes in at 9.”

The lunch menu is sent out and determined every month by a dietitian in the central office. Sarah Church, the dietitian, every month “sends out a menu so we can pre-order about two weeks ahead of time. I have no way to know the lunch count, so we order according to history, so we do not run the risk of under ordering,” Broyles said. 

Even when the students have half days, the cafeteria staff still has to prepare as they normally would. On half days “we have no way of knowing if we could have 100 kids or 500 kids who would want or need a lunch,” Broyles said. Which leads to always preparing a larger amount of the food as the staff does not cook half day meals. Whereas during regular lunches “sometimes we cook as we go, so if the first and second lunches were big we cook some more preparing for the other two lunches to be equally as big or bigger,” Broyles said. 

When it comes to preparing lunch for a large amount of students different meals have different preparation difficulty levels, “One thing that is harder is pasta bar and wings because they are messy,” Brenda Scruggs, a lunch worker for 33 years, said. Thanksgiving, however tends to be the most difficult. “Thanksgiving is one of our hardest lunches. We have stuffing, gravy, turkey, green beans, and cookies. That is usually the hardest day because of all the prep work it takes. Mainly for the Turkey.”

Everyday, the cafeteria staff comes in and prepares food for all the students. They work day in and day out to make sure every student has a substantial lunch, which includes arriving early each and every morning to prepare food. The workers serve food and clean up trays after all the students. Day after day they come back, repeat what they did the day before, which includes entering the school hours before students all to serve students the best possible way.

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About the Contributor
Meghan Davis, News Writer
Class of 2025 Meghan Davis has been on staff for two years. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling with her family and friends, reading, and going to theme parks.

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