Students Assist Cafeteria Workers In New “Chef’s Battle”


Adrian Vasquez, Online Editor

What does it take to prepare school lunches for St. Benedict’s Prep? On Friday, December 10th, a group of Benedict’s students were given the opportunity to experience how the kitchen staff prepares food daily. 

Previously, The Benedict News published a news story about the need for change regarding the preparation and delivery of school lunches. As a follow-up to that story, students selected by The Benedict News and SBP leadership team were divided into different groups, giving them the opportunity to see what it is like being part of the lunch team. One group of students was in charge of supplying each group with milk, juice, and applesauce. The other group made yogurt cups to give out to the students.

As soon as the second block ended, students, including both boys and girls ranging from middle division to senior year, gathered in front of the cafeteria. The students were told that they would be assisting the kitchen staff to prepare the lunch. They were then taken to the back of the kitchen to wash their hands in the area where the kitchen workers prepare the food. The students were then broken into groups.

Students help prepare yogurts for lunch. (Bryanna Marrero)

One group stood in the kitchen where they prepared the school lunch boxes for groups. The boxes were lined up and labeled with group initials along with a paper of the group lunch order. The students placed beverages and apple sauces in each group box, following the group order. After that, the boxes were carried and placed in the fridge for the group to pick up later. “Although the packaging part was boring, seeing the process of packaging the group lunch was interesting,” said Walter Pierce SY.

Students help package lunches for group rooms. (Bryanna Marrero)

Just outside the kitchen, the other group of students was learning how to make yogurt cups. A misconception some of the students had starting off was that the process was going to be easy. Around the table, you could see the majority struggling to get these yogurt cups prepared. Some struggled with the pouring of the yogurt, some with the measurements, and some even struggled to open the packages of yogurt. The mixture between the yogurt and the fruit had to be near perfect or the cup would overflow. Once everyone seemed to get the process in motion smoothly, yogurt cups started coming in with more efficiency and with much less mess. 

The event was an effective way to give students an idea of what goes into the everyday process of preparing lunch. Bryan Estima SY, a participant in the Yogurt Group, stated “It was a great experience because I was able to bond with my brothers and sisters and it put into perspective what the lunch workers do for us.” 



Sharing her perspective on this new experience cafeteria manager, Venus Valenzuela said, “I was very excited to have my first Chef Day at St. Benedict’s because it was a great opportunity to share our daily routine with the students. I was so glad that they enjoyed all the variety of food in one day. I see some details that we can do better for the next time we do a Chef’s Day, such as planning the day and time.”

Cafeteria staff serve the finished product to Middle Division students during their lunch period. (Bryanna Marrero)