Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


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Lunch is served! And so are the details of what really goes on in Liberty’s cafeteria kitchen

Lunchtime is a special time in the school day, where worries cease for a moment and friends are reunited once more. To ensure both the body and soul are replenished, the sacred duty of feeding the students lies in the hands of Liberty’s cafeteria staff. 

The team of five are led by food service manager, Cheronne Shafir, who has been working here at Liberty for 12 years. As the manager, she’s in charge of ordering most of the food and assigning roles to others. 

“Being the manager is more than just taking care of details like ordering or cooking, It is also about making sure that each worker is comfortable in their role,” Shafir said. “I have this quote on my desk as a reminder – “Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.” 

Through their steady teamwork, the cafeteria staff accomplish the task of getting nutritious, tasty food served to hungry students on a set schedule. 

“Our work is kind of fast-paced. You get in here and everyone has different hours and different jobs,” Angela Stumpf, who is mostly in charge of the salad bar, said. “But it’s kind of comforting to know that you’ve got a routine.” 

“It’s basically the same thing everyday. Get the ingredients, mix them together, portion, bake, and then wash,” the scratch baker and cashier, Satoru Sugitani, said. “Each day is the same process, just different ingredients to make different things.” 

Depending on their individual schedules, each staff member will arrive early in the morning, prepare food for both lunches, serve it to the students, clean in a record time of 15 minutes, and go home before school is even over. 

“Both of my sons graduated from Liberty and so did I,” Shelley Russel, who runs the snack and pizza line, said. “It was a perfect fit for me because you work when your kids are in school and you have the time off when they have their time off.” 

Everything served at lunch is district-wide, statewide, and countrywide, since the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) is in charge of what food can be served and how it is prepared. 

“We have to count and get the temperature of everything, and our food can’t stay out longer than four hours,” Stumpf said. 

Some students may lament over having to grab a fruit or vegetable, but they’re a mandatory part of school-offered meals. 

“It’s not part of my affairs what each student eats, but it’s a legal requirement that a fruit be on the tray as it leaves me,” Shafir said. “If not followed, it has the potential to cause the loss of government funding that complements the cost of lunches.”

“We really need you guys to take one or the other, so that’s why we’re always asking you to grab a fruit or grab a vegetable. You can even take up to two fruits and two vegetables if you want,” Stumpf said. “The more students take, the better value they’re going to get.”

Although they are not in complete control of what is served during lunch, the cafeteria staff are always looking out for students in any way they can. 

 “I like to say happy birthday to people because it pops up on my screen when they enter their lunch number,” said Gyehwa Kim, who is in charge of the salad bar and works as a cashier. 

 “I try to be friendly and upbeat when they come up,” “If they look a little quiet or shy, I try to ask them ‘how was your day’ or just anything to get them to open up a little bit. Maybe they’re having a bad day.

“We have a good crew here. We laugh, but we still get it done,” Stumpf said. “But I would still say that it’s the kids that are my favorite part about working here.”

“We appreciate you guys. I know some people think it’s rude when I say thank you after each student but we really do thank you because you guys have so many more choices here,” Stumpf said. “Between the  L’ Cafe and DECA, we appreciate every student that comes through.” 


About the Contributor
Alexa Lim
Alexa Lim, Spotlight Editor
Alexa Lim is a junior at Liberty High School and the Spotlight Editor in the Patriot Press. In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, and writing.