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Unsung heroes of South

South’s cafeteria workers share their passion for cooking
Harrison Balfour ’24

They are the invisible workers that keep us students fed and happy. They work behind the scenes ensuring our health and wellbeing. They are the cafeteria workers. While many of us don’t notice or show appreciation for them, everyday they make a difference.

I interviewed Megan Sees, one of the many cafeteria workers at South. She came to South from Montieth and before that, North. Her attachment to cooking started, like many, through her loved ones.

“My sister started my passion for cooking,” Sees said. “ she went to school for cooking and that pushed me to do it too because it looked like she was having a lot of fun.”

Sees gave me a sneak peek behind the curtain into what it means to be one of South’s cafeteria workers. She explained her average work day and what it entails. Unknown to most at South, cafeteria workers have some leniency when it comes to dish preparation.

“I like to do a different dish every day,” Sees said “sometimes I get to make something cool for the kids.”

Whenever Sees has this freedom she makes surprise food for hungry students on top of the usual options for lunch.

“Either hot wings or something like popcorn chicken with chives” Sees said.

Sometimes however, kids don’t enjoy the cafeteria meals and would rather go hungry than eat the options they have.

“Alot of kids that come up and say ‘hey we don’t like this’ or ‘we’re not getting enough pepperoni on the pizza’, Sees said. “Whenever that comes to our attention, we fix it.”

Sometimes kids are allergic or have dietary restrictions. When the cafeteria workers are faced with this challenge, they adapt.

“A lot of kids can’t have pork so we try to stay away from that, having chicken and veggie options and things like that,” Sees said.

Sees made it clear that the cafeteria’s main goal is to get every kid fed and happy, no matter how picky they are.

“We want to make sure you guys are getting a healthy meal to get through the day.” Sees said.

The cafeteria workers are aware that not every kid gets a chance to eat outside of school, so they try to make the in school food as delicious as they can.

Nearly 1 in 5 students in America live in households without consistent access to nutritious food according to the SNA or the School Nutrition Association.

“The fact that a kid can come up and literally take the right components to be able to have a free meal really makes a difference,” Sees said. “A Lot of kids don’t have that, they don’t go home to a meal”

A student’s happiness is enough of a motivator to inspire the cafeteria worker’s to cook and prepare their food in the best and cleanest ways possible.

Some question the cleanliness of the kitchen and the food being prepared within, but Sees puts all concerns to rest by describing the many cleaning strategies they imply to keep students safe and healthy.

“We use sanitizing buckets and a soap solution,” Sees said. “We do this everyday throughout the day”

According to Sees, “The kitchen is probably the cleanest place at South,” Sees said. “Everytime we leave its sparkling”

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About the Contributor
Harrison Balfour ’24
Harrison Balfour ’24, Supervising Photographer
If you happen to see Harrison outside of school, chances are he either has a skateboard beneath him or a camera in hand—possibly even both. As Supervising Photographer for the Tower this year, Balfour has a knack for finding and capturing the beautiful moments of everyday life, one that he hopes will someday land him a job with a newspaper publication. For now though, Tower is enough for Balfour, who sees it as an opportunity to tell unique stories and talk to people who have something to say.“I was always drawn to (Journalism),” Balfour said. “I like telling stories and talking to people-- I feel like I just like people.”When it comes to his journalistic work, however, nothing inspires Balfour more than photography.“I like taking photos (and) capturing a beautiful moment that can never happen again,” Balfour said. “It’s a one-time thing that only I saw and captured.”

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