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“We are delivering around 600 breakfasts and lunches daily.”
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, schools across the state of Texas have been closed through the rest of the 2020-21 school year.
However, while the halls of K-12 schools are eerily quiet, the cafeteria stays bustling.
Cafeteria workers find themselves on the front lines, reporting to work and continuing to feed children that might otherwise go hungry.
“We are delivering around 600 breakfasts and lunches daily,” Post ISD Cafeteria Food Service Director Debbie Line said.
Due to Post ISD qualifying for the National School Lunch Program’s free lunch assistance, the ISD remains responsible for administering meals to students, pre-k through 12th grade, even during the pandemic.
In fact, the cafeteria has taken on feeding more students than usual.
“During the school year, our count is around 400-450 students,” Line said. “Now, we are fixing 600 meals for breakfast and lunch.”
With nearly 200 extra students served daily, there has been an obvious increase in costs.
“Overall, this has been a costly experience,” Line said. “We have double our food cost and had to buy paper bags, t-shirt bags, gloves and carry out trays.”
Cafeteria employees have also seen changes in daily routine.
On a normal day, the cafeteria serves breakfast from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Now, breakfast and lunch must both be prepared and ready for pick up at 10 a.m.
Once picked up, the lunches are delivered across eight different routes.
“We have seven buses and one suburban delivering,” Line said. “The superintendent, principals, teachers, coaches and aids deliver the meals.”
Menus have also seen slight changes.
“Menus are basically the same except that we are trying to serve sandwiches two days a week,” Line said.
Although the process has been a drastic adjustment, Line said it has been an overall success.
“A big thank you to Kay Postell for making the face masks,” Line said. “We owe a big thank you to Sonic, Allsups and United for donating paper bags and t-shirt bags. We also owe a big thank you to all the staff employees who are delivering these meals and making it a big success.”