Yes, The Chicken is Real!

Wakeland High School's cafeteria staff works diligently to provide balanced meals that also satisfy student's taste buds.

Ali Noorani

Skye Ford and Emma Rasmussen, WIN-TV Reporters

Wakeland pizzas, Fresh or Frozen?

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275 pizzas, 100 chicken chunks and 120 burrito combinations sold everyday in the Wakeland High School Cafe. The school cafeteria is a source of food for many high school students however the source of these foods and the influence behind the menu choices have been questioned by many.

Betty Pfahler, Wakeland Cafe Supervisor, discussed the many restrictions school menus face. Some of these restrictions include: the amount of snack foods that can be offered to students and the necessity of a balanced meal. This means that in each school lunch a certain amount of proteins, fruits, vegetables, and other food groups must be present. These guidelines are provided to schools from not only the Texas Government but the Federal Government as well. Pfahler shared, “whether it be the percentage of fat or protein we offer, it is all monitored”; however, with these restrictions the cafeteria teams still work hard to incorporate common brands like Pillsbury and Tyson to help with providing more familiar foods and taste to the students.

In regards to the debate over frozen food, Pfahler did confess that the cafeteria does indeed utilize preserved food, saying “some of our chicken products and bread products are frozen” due to staff and the many safety guidelines they face. Nevertheless, the frozen products are baked fresh daily and never reheated repeatedly, or as Pfahler would say it, “whatever is served for that day is just for that day”.

Dr. Donna Edge, Wakeland High School principal, commented on the importance of a nutritional lunch, stating that when students purchase a school lunch “it has to be balanced”. This means that in order to receive the discounted meal price, a student must incorporate a vegetable or fruit into their meal.

Ultimately, Pfahler expressed that the biggest struggle they face is creating nutritious foods that students will want to buy. However, they combat this by using student polls to gauge what type of foods these teens want to see in their lunch lines.

Serving about 1,200 students each day is definitely not an easy task when one has to factor in health benefits and safety guidelines. But no matter how hard the task, students are still consecutively fed, while our cafeteria team continues working hard.