It’s safe to say that anyone that has attended CVHS since last year has been able to see the dramatic changes the cafeteria has gone through, both inside and out. Many of these changes can be credited to the lunch staff and their head supervisor, Ana Aguilar.
With their help, the CVHS cafeteria has been able to have speedier lunch lines, and a larger variety of better quality food than before. But what else do we know? Shouldn’t we want to know more about the people who make our food daily?
Most students think of their teachers when they think about the CVHS staff. They make sacrifices every day to come to school early at 7 a.m. to prepare a daily lesson plan.
The lunch staff makes the sacrifice each day to come to school at 6 a.m. and needs to have meals planned for about 3,000 students, including the teaching and custodial staff.
Members of the staff have shared their personal journey into the CVHS cafeteria, and what keeps them motivated each day to serve the CVHS community.
Aguilar has worked in food preparation for 19 years, for Castro Valley schools for five years, and has recently been promoted to the head of the CVHS cafeteria. She says that Castro Valley is a good district and she likes the community because it’s friendly and safe.
“I’m happy here, I love it,” she said.
But mostly she talks about her goals for the cafeteria in the future.
“First, I want to feed all of the community. I want to feed all of the students, the teachers, everyone. Second, I want to improve the quality of the food, and third, I hope to improve the equipment and the building,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar clearly shows her care and love for her staff and students. The students are what motivate her to continue cooking food for them each morning.
“I love to see the smiling faces of the students. I see them as my kids, and when they ask if they can buy a second lunch it motivates me! It lets me know I’m doing something right,” commented Aguilar.
Shirley Yee, a longtime cafetreia staff member since 2009, says, “I feel happy when the students are eating and studying. That’s what makes me happy.”
Yee also has similar goals to Aguilar: “I want to make more high quality and healthy food for all.”
Jenny Chan, who has worked in the CVHS lunch staff for 17 years, also has the students in her hearts while cooking their daily meals.
“I love to work with kids more than food. When I see the kids happy with the food, I’m happy too,” Chan said.
Most of us take lunch for granted, and we rarely stop to think that a person made this, with their hands and with their heart.
We should all now grab lunch with a new appreciation, knowing every minute that we eat it, that someone, who doesn’t even know our names, deeply cares for us, and made it for us with love for the students.
The least we can do is smile and thank them for the meal.