DHS Cafeteria: New year, new lunch


Jocelyn Jerome

Some of the new selections found in the DHS cafeteria.

Coming into the 2018-2019 school year, DHS students knew that it would be a school year full of changes and adjustments. Almost every student was well aware of the schedule change that was going to happen as well as the switch to the one-to-one initiative happening sometime in October. A new change that wasn’t all that anticipated was a change in school lunch.

A common stigma behind school lunch is that it isn’t all that great. Many television shows make dramatized jokes about things such as “mystery meat” being in lunch. Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide was a youth show from the late 2000’s that recognized this stigma and made a comical scene of a character’s food coming to life and crawling off its plate.

Not anymore. Newly hired Food Service Director Jeanne Sheridan was awarded the “Northeast Regional School Nutrition Director of the Year” in 2016.

Coming into the new school year, Mrs. Sheridan and the rest of the DHS Cafeteria Staff have been working very hard to make some new changes to lunch and putting the school lunch stigmas to shame.

The new changes to the program are evident as soon as you step into the cafeteria to grab food. Similar to how the lunch program ran last year, there is still a main meal available for students to purchase, but now there are also new signs displaying where students can get different types of food.

School lunch was fine last year, but now it’s even better

— Sophomore Sergio Sao Marcos

Instead of only having a main meal, every day students now have the option to get grill items, pizza (which is made fresh everyday), fruit, and other “grab and go” food items such as turkey sandwiches. “The bar concept,” Mrs. Sheridan explained, “comes from Chipotle.” The new system is meant to be “similar to how you pick and choose what beans you want with your food” like when you go to Chipotle. The new system allows students to have more choice in the food they eat for lunch.

Sophomore Sergio Sao Marcos said, “School lunch was fine last year, but now it’s even better,” and many students share his sentiment.

Sergio’s classmates Alex Jacquart and Katelyn Pimenta also shared their thoughts on the changes in school lunch. Both Jacquat and Pimenta often buy lunch from the school.

“I like the fact that there are more options and that you can choose the meal yourself,” Jacquat said.

Pimenta explained that she is a big fan of the change and feels that the “pizza is better” now. She said that getting lunch is “very easy and faster.”

Increased efficiency is also important because the time students are alloted for lunch has been decreased.

Cafeteria Manager Cheryl Broughton has been very involved with these changes. She said that the addition of “smoothies and the hot grill items have been very popular.”

As crazy as it may sound, some students enjoy the new style of lunch so much that people have started asking for not only double servings of school lunch, but were inquiring about purchasing three or four servings. The result of how successful the lunch changes have been speaks for itself.

Mrs. Broughton said that she and the rest of the staff “hope that everyone comes down and tries it out.” She explained that lots of hard work has gone into making these new changes.

“There’s something for everyone,” she said.

If you ever find yourself in need in some midday fuel then check out the cafeteria and make sure to send your compliments to the chef.