One Lunch Is False News

PRHS has to keep two separate lunches for the following school year
PRHS students during lunch
PRHS students during lunch
Owen Winstead

The 2024-25 school year will continue the two Lunch A/Lunch B schedules despite the announcement of one lunch in March.
Safety concerns and lack of kitchen infrastructure were the reasons that forced the admin to make the decision of two lunches. The PRHS kitchen does not provide enough food production space, does not have enough kitchen staff to feed all students at once, and the admin overall does not have enough supervision staff.
Students are confused and feel that they have not been listened to. After PRHS students were given a survey for their preference of having one lunch or two lunches, the majority of the student population voted in an administration survey on January 13 , 2024 to have one lunch in the future.
Jessie Wesch, the PRJUSD Food Service Director, plans the menus and manages the staff for all 11 district sites and two outside sites, Almond Acres Charter Academy and San Ardo Unified. Overall, she is the person who has informed PRHS that one lunch is unattainable at the moment.

Jessie Wesch; PRJUSD Director of Food Service

When Wesch heard about the survey result she began calculating the numbers, resources, and staff management in hopes to advocate for the students.
Student safety is always top priority, and Wesch said that since we have had two lunches there has been a decline in fights on campus, as well as vandalism. One lunch would require more supervisors during lunch to prevent fights from arising, or apples clogging the toilets. Wesch said that it would be more likely to have one lunch if students would be more responsible for their trash and surroundings.
Also, the calculations found for the amount of food to be made with current space and resources would be implausible.
Although the existing kitchen cannot provide for all PRHS students at once, Wesch is willing to face a challenge, listen to students, and look into an upgrade for the future.
Wesch has to feed the approximate 6000 students in our district. There are a total of about 3,500 lunches and 3,000 breakfasts on a daily basis. Alone at PRHS, with two lunches, it still requires roughly 500 lunches to be made at once. One lunch would be double, or 1000 lunches, but the school does not have double space, staff, or supervision.
At the high school eight cafeteria workers serve 2,000 meals per day, but it is common for them to call out, or they have to step in as a substitute when staff will take the day off at other school sites, according to Wesch.
Staff shortages make it difficult to be able to prepare all meals with over 2000 students present, especially since the population has grown from the pre-Covid years of one lunch.
Her information disappoints hundreds of students, who prefer to have one lunch because it is easier to communicate and socialize with everyone on campus at the same time.
Sophomore Maxwell Toohey-Bergvall eats alone everyday other than Wednesdays because he does not have lunch with his friend group, like many students.

Having one lunch will help me hang out with my friends more and make better social connections.

— Maxwell Toohey-Bergvall

Once students found out that their wish would not be granted, they universally felt that their voices were unheard. Many conversations around campus are about the unfairness of advertising one lunch then abruptly reporting that news as false.
However, there is a lot of information, funding facts, and personnel issues that students are unaware of. And the survey was not released by Wesch, the one making the executive decision.
Wesch said, “It’s a realistic goal that I can accomplish…I’m very proud of all the students who have said yes to the survey because that really is vocalizing your needs and wants, and I think that’s very powerful. You can make change. And I really want to make good food.”

Dish washing space in PRHS kitchen
New salad bar of 2023-24 school year before the bell rings
Pizza ovens for Bearcat Pizza days with boxes stacked behind, waiting to be filled

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