Cafeteria reboots as students return for in-person school

May 3, 2021 — by Martin Xu
Photo by Pam Carlino

Every lunch period, students will have to pick up their pre-ordered lunches at the snack booth as shown above.


Cafeteria assistant Dorothy Trifolio arrives at the school at 7 a.m. these days and begins cleaning and sanitizing equipment. Once a batch of hand-made lunches arrives from Los Gatos High School, she brings them inside, organizes the trays and sets up the snack booth for student pick-up later in the day.

Students are required to order lunches through the Falcon Cafe form sent in the Principal’s letter every Friday. The menu consists of a variety of meals, with options such as pizza, BBQ chicken sandwiches and teriyaki chicken and rice bowls. Students must submit an order for the day before 9 a.m. and proceed to pick up the lunch from 12:35 p.m. to 1:05 p.m.

However, Trifolio said that this system isn’t working well yet: About half of the students who order lunches often don’t pick them up, which leaves the cafeteria with a huge amount of wasted food. Moreover, if the student doesn’t scan their ID cards at the pick-up area at the snack booth next to the cafeteria, the school doesn’t receive money for the meals.

“We don’t like this preorder idea, so hopefully in the fall we won’t have to do it,” Trifolio said. 

The cafeteria workers strongly advise students to only order lunches if they are 100 percent sure they are going to pick it up. 

For the students who do pick up their lunches, the school has set new COVID-19 guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease among students and staff.

Though most cafeteria workers have been vaccinated, they all wear masks and follow social distancing protocols. Students will check in on Screener19, after which the cafeteria staff checks their temperature and hands out grab-and-go bag meals in the snack booth next to the cafeteria. For the cafeteria workers, the school has installed a new ventilation system that allows for better airflow for employees working inside the building. 

District food manager Pam Carlino said they are trying to make sure everyone remains safe by serving all the food with the least amount of interaction possible.

This year, the cafeteria staff has been especially busy, not only because of the pandemic, but also because they are now hand making all of the food with LGHS. 

“All of our food is handmade and fresh,” Trifilo said. “Even the pizza dough is made from scratch. It’s more time consuming but we are willing to give it a try.” 

Although Trifilo feels sorry that there is only one item on the menu every day, she hopes this will change as the fall semester approaches.

Despite the difficult year, the cafeteria staff has adapted and adopted new methods to accomplish their most important goal: serving students and putting smiles on their faces. 

Carlino hopes to be able to interact with more students next year as everything this year has been much more restrictive than in previous years. She misses the crowds and student interaction inside of the cafeteria.

“We miss all the students so much,” Carlino said. “We had many student workers that came in every day. I can't wait to see everyone again.”