Day in the life of a lunch lady


Do you ever wonder what the lunch ladies do all day and what they do to prepare your food? Everyday she comes at 6:30 in the morning to prepare food for you. Who is she you ask? She is Christine Hames, the lead service worker at our school. I shadowed her all day and got the inside scoop on what it was like to prepare food for hundreds of middle and high school students.

Walking in to the kitchen didn’t it seem to  hectic like I thought. Only two people work in the kitchen which makes it less hectic but more work on the kitchen staff. Christine said that the most hectic days are Wednesdays because they get shipments and it’s also a half day. Christine said that they try to keep the kitchen clean and organized because the kitchen is very open for everyone to see. She says the only day it gets a little messy is Wednesday because they have to reorganize and figure out how to fit everything into the space they are given.

Christine didn’t always work in food services. She worked at AT&T for 30 years.

I entered the kitchen to start experiencing and exploring Christine’s daily duties.I walked in at 10:45 a.m. They were cleaning up breakfast and they were starting to get ready for lunch. Christine told me that she had paperwork to do after they finished cleaning up. The paper work consisted of her just putting in everything she had used that morning for breakfast. On average she feeds about 60 kids breakfast in the morning so it’s not too much to enter. 

Christine tries to make a variety of choices for kids. She tries to be creative when making food. She does wish that she had more creative license, but she has to work with what she’s got. Christine says the food system has changed a lot, she says there used to be more homemade food. She wishes that she could make homemade food but she has to follow the food services rules

There was an hour until lunch, and Christine was wrapping dozens and dozens of cheeseburgers and chicken burgers. She had to stop because they got their shipment of milk. She had to find room for it.She says that a lot of the time when they get shipments they have to rearrange a lot because they don’t have enough room. Christine came back in and the oven buzzed she took out a pan of chicken patties and started preparing the food. Once the pan was clear she went and cleaned it. Christine said that she likes to do dishes throughout the day so there’s not a pile up at the end of the day.

The bell rang and the first lunch was starting. Christine told me that the first lunch wasn’t too busy but the busiest lunch was the third lunch. The line was starting and the kids started pouring in. Many kids don’t know what options there are but Christine stated to write a menu and put it out. The lunches went on and on and the kids kept pouring in. 

Our food service staff does so much and they care about what they do. Even though our food service team works a bit behind the scenes, doesn’t mean they don’t have a huge impact on our school