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SHS cafeteria offering students a variety of choices

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Sunnyside High School cook, Norma Mendoza and Tomas Pena, a junior at the school, serve students from the fiesta line during lunch.
   

This isn't your father's high school cafeteria.

The cafeteria at the Sunnyside High School offers students these days a variety of food from which to choose. This wasn't always the case.

In September of 2004, Robert Toomer came to town and took over the food service department for Sunnyside School District.

Toomer said the cafeteria only served one item for breakfast. The kids also had to stand in a long line to get their food. For lunch the kids had four choices to choose from and it was usually the same choices every day.

Things are different now. The students now have six different choices to choose from for breakfast. Cereal is always offered but the students can also choose from breakfast pizza, super wheat donuts, power bars and eggs and ham on a muffin. Waffles are also served during the week.

The students also get all the fruits and vegetables they can eat for breakfast and lunch.

Lunch time is a little different than before too. The cafeteria offers between 15 and 20 choices for lunch. Different kiosks are set up with different tastes for the students.

There is the American Grill. This kiosk serves hamburgers, cheeseburgers, bacon cheeseburgers, spicy and plain/ cheese chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets and all of the above comes with tator tots. Yummy!

There is a pizza line that sells slices of pizza. The pizza is made there but the crust is bought frozen. Toomer said in the future the cooks might start making their own dough. He also believes the Sunnyside School District is the only district on the east side and maybe even the whole state that offers pizza every day to the students.

Students can also choose from a deli line. Here they can have a sandwich made to order. They are offered ham, turkey, roast beef or the Grizzly Special, which is everything.

There is a salad bar but students also have a choice of one specialty salad of the day. Salads of the day include chef salads, cobb salads, ham salads, southwest chicken salads and chicken Caesar salads.

The fiesta kiosk sells items like nachos, tostadas, tacos and taco salads. They also serve oriental rice bowls every Wednesday.

Lastly, there is the ala carte line where the students can get their junk food like chips, cookies, Gatorade and more.

Leah Schaneman, the head cook at Sunnyside High School, says the cafeteria serves around 400 students for breakfast and about 650 students for lunch. She expects the lunch number to go up when it gets colder outside.

Schaneman, who has worked at the school for the last 20 years, thinks this new style of cafeteria is great.

"In the last year I've had more compliments on the food than I've had in the last 19 years all together," Schaneman said. "The kids love it."

Toomer agreed.

"The main thing is the kids are eating what's on their plates and they're happy about it," he said. "They are also getting more fruits and vegetables."

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