Heroes of the Cafeteria


Danay Cortez

Collage of students and faculty arranged by cafeteria workers

Cafeteria workers are underestimated for the hard work entailed in making school breakfasts and lunches for a large number of students five days a week. Including special meals for the holidays for example, Thanksgiving meals for students, families, and faculty to enjoy. Cafeteria workers should be appreciated, for all that they do for everyone each and every day.

“I started working as a cafeteria worker when I was 22 years old,” cafeteria worker Jaye Longston said. “My son started going to school, and I thought why not work while he’s in school. Every Time he moved schools, I kept moving up as well, eventually making it to the high school with him.”

As her son progressively changed grade levels, she progressed as well. She fulfilled two goals: going back to school and being with her son at the same time.

“From 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM I’ll handle all the beverages and arrange my line setup,” Mrs. Longston said. “I Also help make chicken salad wraps, teriyaki wraps, and popcorn chicken wraps upstairs in the cafeteria.”

These are examples of her many daily duties, showing a variety of food choices prepared by Mrs. Longston juggling beverages as well.

“I handle all the production, making sure the nutritional factors are equal, with certain foods.” assistant manager Antionette Grasmick said. “Also making sure inventory is stocked correctly and within compliance for the federal government to get fundings. All our USDA food is well taken care of, ordering tons of food, informing the friendly staff their positions of the day.”

For being an assistant manager, Grasmick makes sure food is well taken care of. Taking care of ordering large amounts of food, assigning coworkers’ job duties for that specific day and all while being a big family.

“Coming to work early and seeing everyone’s beautiful smiling faces is one of my favorite things about my job,” Longston said. “But for certain days if we are short staffed it’ll definitely be overwhelming because we have so much to prepare getting ready for breakfast and lunch.”

Longston said in regards to the students as they walk into the school cafeteria. While being short staffed, this shows how deeply she loves her job regardless of being overwhelmed at times.