By Kate Anslinger
You can’t start a new school year in a new building without mentioning one of the most important items … Food!
After all, this is what gives students the energy to make it through the day and power through their many assignments, projects and extracurricular activities.
The kitchen at the new Winthrop High/Middle School is shared by the two schools and the lunch staff, who are responsible for prepping the meals, serving students and keeping tabs on what the students like and dislike. While the options are always changing, there are some hot items on this year’s menu that certainly have the students coming back for more. Chicken patties and popcorn chicken served with mashed potatoes and corn tend to be favorites, but the students have also showed their love for tacos and enchiladas.
In an effort to get students to branch out and try new things, Aramark Food Service offers a monthly special called the “Fuel Program.” Basically it takes the traditional lunch options and puts a spin on them. A spicier chicken Pattie and a taco with a Korean flavored twist are a couple of the Fuel Program’s recent additions. And if a student is unsure about whether to try something new, all they have to do is ask for a sample and the lunch staff will gladly provide it.
Chantelle Ferreira, a WHS student, said she loves the lunches but she wishes they had bigger portion.
“There is a lot to choose from,” she said.
In addition to lunch, Aramark also offers breakfast items. One of the well-known struggles for teens is the challenge of getting their day off to the right start by eating breakfast. With busy lifestyles, students often skip the most important meal of the day, which is why Aramark Food Service and the staffers in the cafeteria have made it their mission to try out new breakfast options in an attempt to get the student’s to find something they love that will help fuel their day.
“We want to increase breakfast numbers, so kids eat healthy and start their day right,” said Food Service Director Ian Kay.
Smoothies, which are a quick and easy way to pack in nutrients, are one of the new options. The staff has been experimenting with different ingredients, but there is surely something for everyone. There is a delicious vanilla apple cinnamon smoothie available now and also one with pumpkin, perfect for the fall season.
Aramark Food Service is responsible for servicing all the schools in the district and enforcing nutritional standards among the students. Following nutritional guidelines, Aramark makes it mandatory to have fresh fruit and vegetables served with every meal offered and all products are made with whole grains.