Cafeteria serves during National School Lunch Week

Alycia Abordonado, Staff Writer

National School Lunch Week might have just passed earlier this month, but that does not mean students cannot tell the cafeteria staff how much they appreciate the effort they put into serving hot meals several times a day.

Created in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, National School Lunch Week was established to promote the importance of health school lunches. 

This week is also the time when the number of lunch sales is extra important. The number of meals sold affects the number of cafeteria staff the school can employ, and if it is low enough, some of our staff may be laid off. 

“Last year we were serving an average of 900 lunches a day, and this year were down to 750,” Moanalua High School Cafeteria Manager Curtis Haida said.

“We lost about 115 students, but last year was free and this year everybody has to pay so we did lose people.”

Moanalua did not lose any staff this year.

The giant gap between numbers is attributed to students having to pay for their lunches again. Last school year lunches were free for everyone because of federal funds to support schools as they return from on-line learning, but those funds are not available this year. One lunch costs $2.75.

This year both serving school lunches and buying them has become more expensive. Our school lunches have lots of packaging in them from the takeout boxes they are being served in to the food itself, such as the wrapped pop tart breakfast. These expenses cost our cafeteria money and the cost is going up.

“The cost went up for everything, so everything is higher and costs more,”  Haida said. “It costs a lot more money to produce a meal.”

He said some of the most popular meals are the nachos and pizza, while the least popular are the fish items.