So much more happens behind the cafeteria counter than the students think. With only four employees in the high school, starting at 6 AM, these ladies make all the magic happen behind the scenes. With almost 900 students in the school plus staff, countless people pop in and out of the cafeteria. The lunch ladies are always there with a smile to serve whoever is in line.
Things have been a little different this year with the COVID-19 restrictions, but thankfully it hasn’t majorly affected the work in the kitchen. Due to the size and space in the back, the ladies are able to stay spread out and continue to practice social distancing, and, of course, wear masks and gloves. On a day to day basis, a major concern is finding out if the school will be closed due to positive cases or if staff members are out. With just one lunch lady testing positive, the kitchen will be short-staffed. Thankfully, everyone is healthy.
There was a switch this year with the food company. As we know, students were not happy with the new meal choices a few years back. School lunch meals were actually down in sales that year; many kids decided to bring lunch or go out instead. However, the students will always love the food made by the ladies. Senior Dylan Heege sets a high appraisal for the “Ning Ning spesh” and another anonymous senior says, “I love Lez.” The cafeteria is an important part of the school and a part of many students’ daily routines.
A quick reminder that breakfast and lunch are free until June 30th! Food is also available to be picked up for virtual students.
Mrs. Piniero, the head of the schools’ cafeterias, recently made the switch to head the high school and middle school. Her office is located in the high school and she loves working here. A busy day from 6 AM to 3:30 PM, Mrs. Piniero works on her paperwork (pays bills, production sheets, enter orders, etc), then tries to stop at some of the elementary schools to see if staff needs anything and answer emails. Regarding the school lunch, when asked what the food service experience is like, she says, “I like to try to offer different items that I think the students and staff would like”.
Allison Russo says, “Ning Ning and Cathy are two of the sweetest people I have ever met. They are much more than just the school lunch ladies.” We all greatly appreciated all that work in the kitchen at Wantagh HS and we can’t wait to see what new items they have in store for the menu.