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The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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La Salle Cafeteria Makes a Gradual Return to Pre-COVID 19 System

Rita Tran
As student mealtime needs and wants are changing, the cafeteria staff is working to adapt.

Since the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, the La Salle cafeteria has been going back to a pre-pandemic system and menu.

According to Food Services Manager Ms. Kim McCarthy, students used to purchase and eat cafeteria food often, but because of Covid-19, that quickly changed, and students became accustomed to eating their own food, bringing lunches to school instead of eating school-made food. 

Because of this, the La Salle cafeteria staff made the menu simpler to account for the lack of food being consumed. 

Throughout this time, most of the world — including large providers of food and ingredients for the school such as US Foods — have had to adjust and build themselves back up again. 

From 2021 to 2023, La Salle was getting food shipments from US Foods once a week. This system worked well, as La Salle wasn’t producing near the amount of food that they were pre-COVID. According to Ms. McCarthy, it took a couple years for students to once again be comfortable eating from the cafeteria. 

However, beginning last year with the underclassmen and continuing with this year’s freshman class, students are purchasing and eating cafeteria food much more often than prior classes did.

As Ms. McCarthy stated, “Last year[’s] freshmen, you guys, you guys are eaters. … And then the freshman class this year are also big eaters.”

To accommodate this change, the La Salle cafeteria had been producing more food. It now receives delivery from US Foods twice a week — Tuesday and Friday — to compensate for the increase in demand. 

Additionally, the underclassmen seem to be more open to trying new food than the upperclassmen, who went through the pandemic at La Salle. 

With the demand having increased, the production having increased to adapt, and students being willing to expand their lunch repertoire, the cafeteria staff have been gradually adjusting the lunch menu to fit. As well as increasing the volume of food made, there has been a large increase in the number of different meals and snacks produced. For instance, taco bowls were a newer addition to the menu. 

While adding new menu options, the staff have been conscious of the nutritional value of the meals offered. They have done their best to ensure the food offered is nutritious, but that students are still willing to purchase and eat it. 

One of the steps they have taken is to have the “less healthy food” be more expensive than the “healthier food,” keeping the meals at reasonable prices. This provides an incentive for students to choose the more nutritious option.

However, the cost to produce meals has increased drastically. For one, prices of fresh, quality ingredients have skyrocketed. Ms. McCarthy also pointed out another reason, saying, “We went through the whole pay increases that everyone had to go through, because the minimum wage was going up to $15.” Supply companies increasing the workers’ pay leads to high priced ingredients, thus making cafeteria food more expensive to produce.

In addition to these major changes in the menu, the La Salle cafeteria has opened a “Snack Shack” in Cafe Justo that sells snacks such as chips and protein bars, allowing students to grab a quick bite to eat without having to wait in the long line.

The La Salle cafeteria has continued to figure out what changes to make in order to adapt to demand in multiple ways, all the while prioritizing the students’ nutritional needs.

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