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Lunch hour is one of the things students all over the country look forward to most. It is a time to take a break from your daily work, socialize with friends, and enjoy a good meal. With the introduction of new guidelines in the light of COVID-19 this year, Baker’s school lunch program has taken on some interesting changes. Some of these changes are not ideal for students and others have become positive ones that many wish could stay.

Lunch for high school students has changed drastically this school year, and many may even say for the better. Students that wish to have hot lunch are now able to eat their lunch in the complex lobby of the high school. In order to keep distance between grades, all high school lunches are delivered up to the school for students to eat on campus. Only a select number of students are assigned to a table to eat and each meal has been pre-packaged and well-organized by the cafeteria staff. A few students who go to lunch say they quite enjoy lunch this way and that they are impressed by the steps the school is taking in order to provide a safe and healthy environment for the students to eat in.

Students from the elementary schools and middle school continue to eat in the cafeteria, although there is now increased precautions with how this all works. Each grade has their own schedule to the cafeteria that allows them to be easily spread out and be socially distanced. There is no longer a salad bar for students, which is a change that many have had to adjust to as well. The other major difference is that kindergarten students have their lunches in the multipurpose room at Lincoln School. Otherwise students grades 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8 eat at separate times in the cafeteria at Longfellow School.

Superintendent Aaron Skogen informed me that, “we currently transport about forty (40) meals to Lincoln Elementary each day as well as an additional thirty-plus (30+) meals to the high school complex lobby.” He mentioned how this is definitely a challenging process that our cafeteria staff has been figuring out and troubleshooting for several weeks. Elementary Principal Bo Lingle added that, “we will need to continue this schedule change until the Health Department and the school system determine that it is safe to increase the number of students in the cafeteria at one time.” Despite the challenges, students are grateful that hot lunch is still available and we thank our wonderful cafeteria staff for their hard-work and efforts to keep serving healthy lunches in the safest way possible to students during this pandemic.

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