Ode to the school district lunch ladies

Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011

After retiring from the Kenai Peninsula School District last May, I decided I was not ready to just sit in a rocking chair yet. Wanting a new experience, and having a hard time cutting the apron strings after 38 years, I signed up to be a lunch room substitute. What an eye opening experience this has been. After two weeks of training, I am convinced that these ladies are the "unsung heroes "of the school district.

Can you imagine serving between 200 and 300 people in an hour? I am impressed with their energy. Don't even think of a coffee break. I go to the gym almost daily, but for me lifting those big trays and boxes of food is not "a piece of cake."

Every task, from the arrangement of food on the trays to clean up is accomplished as an efficiency expert.

The amount of daily paperwork surprised me. Everyday recordings need to be made for the temperatures of the freezers and coolers, the temperature of the entre when served, the amount of food prepared and the amount of food left over. These ladies are geniuses in figuring out the amount of food to be served each day. The ordering and storing of the food is a job in itself.

The work ethic of these ladies is admirable. You would all be impressed with what they accomplish in a short time. They like their job and they like kids. They know the name of every child that comes through the line.

I can not believe that I was an employee of the school district for all those years and did not realize the true value of these lunch room ladies.

With gratitude for their service,

Etta Mae Near; Retired home economics teacher, Retired voc ed tutor, Soldotna

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