My 2nd job - school lunch program

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I haven't been on board for so long, I forgot to tell you.
    Due to financial situation I had been looking for a second job.
    School Lunch food service program called me. (neighbor referred me) I have 3/4 days off a week. (work 12 hour shifts 3/4 days a week). I am a sub. They call each morning and tell me what school needs a sub. No work in summer or when there is no school. Works out great. Started last March, so working two days a week until the end of school year.

    Happy my son does not eat hot lunch. This is my experience.
    First time they called I was sent to a school in a not so great area. Nobody spoke English except the supervisor person who did no work. I have long hair (mid back) and I put it all in a hair net, bangs included. Only to see everyone else only puts the back in hair net. Sides and front out.

    First school I worked on the line dishing out food. It was Taco Bar. I was told one scoop taco meat in a boat of chips. They said they normally use tortilla's but the mice got them. !!

    One meal includes tator tots. Eight tots...that's it. The free and reduced kids can choose from an assortment of pre wrapped sub sandwiches, a bag of chips and juice. They must get all to get any. So, what I witnessed was kids getting all the food, going through the register, and immediately tossing out everything but the juice. Still wrapped. Right next to the garbage next to the register.

    My second day at a different school. No English. Food was warm, room was warm. I worked with a man. No problem with hair net here, he was bald. He served meatball bomber on his side (next to me) He had sweat dripping off his head right on the food. Between lunches he would eat the meatballs with his fingers and then go right back to serving without changing his gloves. I was told to wash my hands often and change my gloves every time I touch something new, so I do.

    Those two were middle schools. I was told from my son's middle school principal it would not be a good idea to work there, so I turned down that school offer.

    I worked at two high schools. Hair nets half on. Sweat dripping. But better food selection. The supervisor at one High school told us that it doesn't matter where you are or how clean you are, mice will get in and find food. Just lucky
    the school didn't use the food. (but that school was just not clean)

    I really liked one of the high schools and asked for that school when they needed help. I worked there most of the days.

    Did not work elementary school. I was told you work alone there and all food comes pre packaged so additional workers are not needed.

    The schools I did work at baked there own pizza and bread daily. Warmed other food shipped in.

    I can go online and see exactly what difficult child eats. Bag of chips and two gatorades daily. After seeing all the sweat and dirty fingers dipping into the food I am really glad that is what he eats.

    Next year is High School, but being a specialty high school and so small, the food is shipped in and a smaller varitey.

    Half the year I work Sunday - Wednesday noon at my primary job. Half the year I work Thursday - Saturday noon. When I started this job I was only available two days a week. Now I will be available three days until January.

    It is from 9:30 to 1:30 or 2pm. Only when the school needs help. Amazingly I was called every single day.

    I had no idea what went on in the lunch rooms. Especially at the Middle Schools.
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I love helping with lunches - though I do not have the food safety issues you do. We have a very small school. We had to get volunteers to transport the food from the HS to our school the years we tapped into the hot lunch program. I work until 12:30 so when I helped at school, I would leave work at 11:00, get fast food for difficult child and arrive at school by 11:30 to help until 1:00. I could then go back to work to make up the time.

    This last year all kids brought bag lunches. We have a refridgerator and two microwaves. Older kids who are able to run the microwave could have a hot lunch - If you can not do the microwave, then you have to have cold lunch. There was one girl who would ALWAYS ask for the helper to run the microwave and we had to say "no". She did know how, just liked being waited on.

    I think 1/2 hour is too long for lunch - After about 20 minutes, kids start getting restless and that is when the frustrations levels rise. So, I will often play games with the kids - like 20 questions.

    A few years ago, we had a boy who would never eat ANYTHING. I would have table contests to see which table of kids ate the most food. I did get him to eat one or two bites of food through this game. One of the other kids told his mom that I was the best lunchroom helper because I got the boy to eat. It was awesome how the kids were supportive and cheered him on over just one or two bites instead of being mean about him not eating more to give their table a better chance to win. I think the kids caught on that that was my true reason for the game.

    If I didn't work, I would be volunteering at the school every day. As it is, I do spend much of the afternoons there preparing for Sunday School (is our church day school). This year Sunday School will be a lot more work for me so I will spend afternoons at school again.
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    Good to see you kjs. Ugh, maybe I will start sending bag lunches. I'm surprised d has never gotten sick. Glad to hear you sounding good. I hope you have some time for r&r too. Hugs, ML
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Our school district contracts with Sodexo for all it's food service. I've gone through the line with Duckie and have never seen anything bad going on. Very friendly and professional. They even know the kids by name.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know the lunch ladies at the 2 elem schools my kids went/go to. they are all ServSafe trained and hypervigilant about sanitation. I have watched them.

    I never realized how BLESSED we are with our school lunches. Not only do we have on-the-ball lunch ladies, our food is all whole grain, with 3-6 veggie/fruit options EVERY DAY. Some edict came down from Pres Bush a couple of years ago and a parent/teacher/lunch lady committee formed to see what improvements could be made. That is when we switched to whole grains (including cookies!) and lots more fruits and veggies.

    All in all, our school lunch is quite impressive. Thanks for making me realize this.