San Pasqual High School’s cafeteria staff works hard and non-stop on the daily.
Each day, the staff comes in and prepares food for all students that get breakfast, a snack at nutrition break, and lunch. Some staff even stay after school to provide free lunch for all and encourage everyone to stop by.
Patti Sam, who is the manager of the staff, works hard every day to get students’ food expectations satisfied.
“We want to serve good food quickly to our students,” said Sam.
Sam has been working at San Pasqual for two years and also comes from the fine dining experience.
“Some of us have good outside talents,” said Sam.
Another goal of hers is to have a fun, comforting work environment for her staff.
“We have a good work environment that is comfortable to come into,” said Sam.
When Sam isn’t around, Cynthia Gutierrez is there to help. Gutierrez is the assistant manager and this is her first year working at San Pasqual. In her own words, a typical day consists of preparing the food all day long.
“Patti comes in at 6:30 a.m and I come in at 7 a.m,” said Gutierrez.
Besides the whole cafeteria staff, students are allowed to work once they consult with Gutierrez or Sam about a position.
“Including Patti and I, there are 16 workers and then there are student workers, 15 of them,” said Gutierrez.
From there, the staff is hard at work as they separate foods for each area with time being limited.
“We have a limited amount of time,” said Gutierrez. “Most of our workers are only here for three hours; part of the time we’re here is to set up for lunch.”
When it comes to students with special disabilities, food is made specifically for them.
“Special Ed comes in early so we make specially blended food for them,” said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez suggests minor food menu changes, as she goes off of what students like.
“We try adding more items when we go to meetings,” said Gutierrez.
It is encouraged for students to give feedback to the staff as to what they would like to see in the future.
“We try to figure out what they like and their opinions,” said Gutierrez.
In an effort to avoid waste, the staff provides a free afterschool meal to students.
“We’ve never thrown anything away unless the food goes bad or gets soggy before lunch,” said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez and the rest of the cafeteria staff work endlessly each day with a passion knowing they’ll receive appreciation and smiles with each meal served.
“When you guys show appreciation and are nice to us, we go home feeling great,” said Gutierrez.