Image: Finn Lynch

Lamar Cafeteria Staff Takes Pride in Serving

Follow us

The early bird always catches the worm and for Lamar cafeteria staff – this statement proves to be true. 

With their days starting as early as  4:30 a.m. – the staff members pride themselves on preparing and serving nutritious meals to over 1,000 students per day. 

“I start my day here by setting up, cooking and having breakfast ready at 7 a.m..” cafeteria manager Claudia Tejeda shares. 

Staff are trained in every position, as they rotate throughout the day serving, cooking, or operating as cashiers. 

“We rotate and make sure everything is ready to go by the time the first lunch begins,” cafeteria staff member Teresa Schlee shares. “Between lunches, we set up for the next lunch, which usually takes 20 mins.” 

Lamar offers three lunch periods each day, serving more than 400 students during each lunch. The cafeteria offers six food options, ensuring that most dietary needs and taste buds are fulfilled.

“We have to keep count,” Tejeda stresses. “If I realize I don’t have chicken sandwiches on the line I have to go to the freezer and get them so we can have every option.” 

With so much to prepare and many students to serve, the job certainly isn’t done without breaking a sweat. While many students and staff members don’t think twice about the daily demands of a cafeteria staff – Tejeda and her team still know the value in what they do each day. Fortunately, many students are gracious enough to tell them “thank you” as they pass through the lunch line. 

It’s not unusual to spot the cafeteria staff sharing lunch together, as this is a group of individuals that enjoys each other’s company. Surprisingly, the team manages to get their own lunch break in before 10 a.m., so as not to interfere with serving the students. 

“I love my job – the hardest part is honestly just how hot the kitchen gets,” jokes Schlee. 

With new recipes every month and non meat options, the staff urges students to apply for the Free or Reduced lunch program every year. 

“So many students don’t even know they qualify and they could be getting lunch for free or at a reduced rate,” Tejeda assures. 

Staff stop serving food around 1:15 p.m. and begin cleaning and packing up in order to prepare for the next day where it is all done again.

Follow us