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Recording history, reporting the truth & recognizing excellence.


Recording history, reporting the truth & recognizing excellence.


Cafeteria staff works hard to sate our hunger

Na Hoku Staff
Addie LeeHong (left) and Joyce Faris prepare hundreds of dough balls for rising before baking.

Your school lunch starts getting ready before the sun even rises. The school cafeteria might be cold and dark outside, but it’s toasty and inviting inside. Students walk and immediately smell the freshness of the bread rolls. Here is Nicole Nishikawa, the Temporary Assigned Manager, view on serving lunch every day for students.

Nishikawa’s day starts off at 6:00 a.m. to open up the cafeteria for students to come in. She also opens and activates all of the appliances like the refrigerator, the freezer, and the store rooms. She also pulls out all of the materials that other workers need to prepare the food for the day. 

Some school meals are prepared the day of serving them. Some of the things that Nishikawa prepares are the steamers for the rice to cook. This needs to be done fairly early, since all of the rice takes about an hour to cook. Along with the rice, there are some meals that can be prepared on the day of. For breakfast, Portuguese Sausage can be made on the day of serving. All of this would need to be done at 7:30 to be ready for students to eat.

However, there are several school meals that need to be prepared a day or a couple of days prior before serving them. For example, kalua pig and cabbage, the roast turkey, and bone-in chicken would take three days to prepare.

One of the most popular school meals that the cafeteria staff serve is cheesy bites. This is because most students love its stringy, pillowy goodness. It’s also fairly easy to make. Another popular meal that students love is potstickers because a lot of students really like eating it. 

“The kids enjoy cheesy bites and the potstickers,” Nishikawa said. “It is fun making it because we know that [students] enjoy it.”

Even though the cafeteria staff don’t mind making any meals for students, there are a couple of foods that are not as popular. Unlike the cheesy bites, tuna sandwiches are not as popular amongst students. Nishikawa dreads making tuna sandwiches because she knows that students don’t really enjoy them.

“I dread when I have to make tuna sandwiches because our numbers drop traumatically,” Nishikawa said.

The count of students that purchase popular meals as opposed to non-popular meals makes a dramatic difference; the count drops to more than half. On a day where cafeteria staff would be serving the popular cheesy bites, they would sell 900. But, on a day where they would serve tuna sandwiches, they would drop to a conspicuous 400 meals sold. 

With all of the enjoyment while preparing the meals for breakfast and lunch, it comes with a lot of hard-work. It starts with the doors first opening, to washing the pots and pans. The cafeteria staff does a lot for the health, care, and appetite of our students.

Addie LeeHong uses a machine that shapes and cuts the bread dough into perfectly-sized balls for rolls and toast. She begins her day at 6:00 in the morning, and by 9:00 has several batches of bread ready to bake for lunch. (Na Hoku Staff)
Temporary Assigned Manager, Nicole Nishikawa (Xchyler Barut)
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Xchyler Barut
Xchyler Barut, Digital Media Editor
Xchyler Barut, is a senior in his second year of News writing. He is passionate about law and band, and is looking forward to his first year of Mock trial. Xchyler barely has free time because he is always busy with school work. He aspires to become a lawyer.

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