Elementary School Lunches

So having a buffer day might be helpful for blogging. We’ll see.

One of the “perks” of working at the elementary school consisted of meals. As the afternoon/evening janitor, I wasn’t allowed to leave the campus. Someone was always supposed to be available. During the summer time, we’d take breaks at the same time which was fine. But during the school year, my first duty was to give my coworker a lunch break. Since he left at 3pm, I didn’t have anyone around to give me a break at dinner time. I would usually eat in our run down trailer, keeping an eye open in case there was still teachers on campus who might need me. Typically I was allowed to take a school lunch free of charge.

Lunch was right when I arrived. At first I tried to save it for my dinner, but I began to learn that school lunches DO NOT REHEAT. So normally, I’d bring something from home that I could actually reheat or just prepare a cup of noodles. On really nice days, I’d order delivery for myself as a special treat.

Traditional school lunches died around the same time that I arrived at the school. I started working a few months before the end of the year… Sadly, over the summer, they purged the kitchen. No more sheet cakes. No more lunch lady pizza. Aramark had won a contract with the county. Perhaps even the State for all I knew. So when the new school year started, THIS is the kind of lunches the children ate each day.

I’ll leave it to your judgement.

So the things I’ve learned from my time period at the Elementary School… The person in charge of the lunches at all 3 Elementary Schools is super lazy when it comes to variety. Friday will always be pizza. They tossed pepperoni’s on top of cheese pizza. Salads were typically an option, except when they weren’t. Because the lettuce wasn’t always pristine. Chicken nuggets happened at least once a week. Sometimes twice, depending on how the week went. I.E. Reappears on salads or they’d make that monstrosity that involved piling chicken nuggets on top of mashed potatoes with cheese and corn. Corn dogs were also another weekly staple. Tuesday involved some kind of Mexican variant: tacos or nachos. Burgers or Chicken sandwiches were also thrown into the mix alot.

Combating “obesity” in schools is a thing that still lingers from the Michelle Obama days. Butter is not offered or allowed for the children. Not on the rolls, not even to toast the bread. Salt and pepper are also rarely given. I felt bad for the kids, until I realized how much of a mess they’d make with their condiments. Urgh.

You’ll also notice that at some point we fluctuated between the traditional lunch trays and foam. The younger kids would often not be able to knock the food off the hard plastic trays which made clean up harder. And the poor lunch ladies couldn’t always wash up the trays enough to get through the entire lunch period. The foam trays made clean up easier, but increased waste. They’d buy more trays then change their minds so often.

If I can remember, I’ll add a picture of my Bonus Daughter’s packed lunch later. She’s pretty habitual on her preferred lunch though. Grilled cheese or some kind of wrap: corned beef with swiss is her favorite. Cheese stick. When her Gran’s garden is still producing, I can toss some cherry tomatoes into her lunch box and not receive any complaints. Goldfish are her go to snack, but chips are always an acceptable second. To drink, she gets an apple juice. She also has a huge amount of cash on her school account so chips and/or ice cream can and usually is purchased from the cafeteria.

Haha, any who, thanks for reading today.

Published by Erin Seto

Southern Peach 🍑, in her 30’s - Artist 🎨 + Bibliophile 📚 + Geek 🎮 + Nerd 👓 + Animal-Lover 🐾 + Bipolar Disorder 💢 x Anxiety 😨 x PTSD 💣÷ DBT Therapy ✨ + Mental Health Matters 🧠 = ME 👩🏽

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