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New lunch program implements feedback, conforms to desires of students after miscommunication

Lunch%2C+minutes+before+being+served+in+the+North+cafeteria.++Students+have+multiple+options%2C+and+are+to+take+a+fruit%2C+vegetable%2C+and+a+milk.+A+La+Carte+items+are+also+available.+
Lunch, minutes before being served in the North cafeteria.  Students have multiple options, and are to take a fruit, vegetable, and a milk. A La Carte items are also available.

Lunch, minutes before being served in the North cafeteria. Students have multiple options, and are to take a fruit, vegetable, and a milk. A La Carte items are also available.

Elyse Luecke

Elyse Luecke

Lunch, minutes before being served in the North cafeteria. Students have multiple options, and are to take a fruit, vegetable, and a milk. A La Carte items are also available.

Elyse Luecke
The GCAA Food Service Suggestion Box sits in the North cafeteria. “I’d like to get the students more involved and hear about what they want to see on the menu and what they want served, and specifics as to what they do and do not like…We need really good, constructive, specific feedback so we can improve upon the program,” said Hughes.

In the midst of new adjustments this school year, a trend in topics talked about is common and controversial among many schools: lunch. At the beginning of the year, many complaints from students had been filed about the quality and quantity of their meal. This circulated on Facebook as well, with students from previous years even making comments on the poor quality of the food served.

The staff of Aladdin, the new lunch program, want to be part of this team, “knowing that meals connect with education and performance in school,” said Rene Hughes, business manager.

“I think there is a lot of misconceptions as to what is being offered in the cafeteria and what has been placed on social media. I think some of the pictures are accurate, but a lot of them aren’t. I think that the realistic portrayal of what is being served in the cafeteria everyday isn’t making it to everyone on social media,” said Hughes.

A primary example of complaints that came from students were about chicken tenders, for instance. Hughes explained that this was a miscommunication with what product was being ordered, although the problem has been resolved.   

The correct portion size was not being served, however the kitchen staff and management have worked to correct this as well. This was also an issue due to the fact that many students were still in the process of adjusting their schedules, meaning they would have lunch at a different time than the staff had originally planned.  

We need really good, constructive, specific feedback so we can improve upon the program,”

— Rene Hughes

“Some people took pictures of items that weren’t exactly accurate and didn’t tell the full story,” said Hughes.

Parents eventually became involved in this issue as well. Parents came in for a taste test at open house to get an idea of what is being served on a daily basis. This gave them a glimpse of portion, variety, and quality. Hughes explained that communication with families and students in this scenario is transparent and highly encouraged when it comes to meals that students eat.

“I think that all parent should expect the lunch company to provide nutritious, healthy and tasty food everyday for breakfast and lunch,” said Hughes.

All meals meet USDA regulations, however this does limit the variety and quantity of foods that can be served.

Hughes is eager to start a focus group in an effort to have more students involved. She believes that this will be a beneficial way for students to provide constructive feedback with what they would enjoy for lunch. This is also a way for the kitchen staff to see specifically what students do not want served. If you would like to provide your opinion on what should or should not be served, there is a GCAA Food Service Suggestion Box in which you can submit your requests.

“We see GCAA as a community and the food program is just one portion of it, but it’s a very big portion of it. Our ultimate goal is perfection,” said Hughes.

 

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New lunch program implements feedback, conforms to desires of students after miscommunication