Cardinal Café staff hasn’t missed a beat since March shutdown

Photos by Campbell Taylor

Lunch — the period every student looks forward to and the time to take a mental break. But how does lunch work with such an unpredictable school schedule?

When people think about how the pandemic has affected schools, they often overlook lunch.

With everything up in the air as to when in-person school would begin, a big question arose: How will students get breakfast and lunch?

The cafeteria workers started out making meal bags and delivering them by bus routes. From the beginning of the school year through October 2nd, 500 students were fed daily. The delivery service was made as easy as possible for students. All you had to do was sign up then give the students’ name at the designated bus stop. The buses delivered between 10:30am to 1:30pm Monday through Friday.

The Café staff is now preparing breakfast and lunch pickups as well as feeding the students who are at school for face-to-face instruction. GRC’s cafeteria manager, Gina Walker said, “Meals were delivered for a month and the bus drivers and cafeteria employees were great. Now we are transporting students to school so everything has changed.”

Although this isn’t a traditional school experience, the cafeteria staff is taking it in stride. They have worked extremely hard to feed as many students as possible. For students the meal prep process looks simple and easy but the amount of work and time that goes into it is shocking.

The staff prepares about 1,000 meals every day. “The team works so well together and we do what we have to do to get everyone fed in whatever way necessary,” Walker said.

Often cafeteria workers are overlooked. But GRC’s cafeteria staff is nothing short of amazing. They work so hard and still find ways to make it fun. The atmosphere is welcoming and light.

Throughout their work day they play music and joke around all while getting the job done. They took what some would say was a tedious or mundane job and made it lively and exciting

“My team is very happy to be back,” Mrs. Walker said. “They are excited about the students returning and they are glad they can help in any way to ensure our students get fed.”

Although there is no way to tell what the future holds for George Rogers Clark or the lunch program we should all have a new appreciation for our cafeteria staff and be thankful for all the work they are doing throughout the county.


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