Shortage of kitchen staff affects OHS


Torrin Smith

Junior Ben Buytaert converses with lunch staff after purchase from a la carte.

Torrin Smith, Writer

Currently there are 1,522 students going to OHS. There are 13 people on the OHS kitchen staff. Doing these jobs can be hard, resulting in less people applying for the jobs. 

The kitchen staff  at Owatonna High School’s hours are fairly similar to those of a student. The kitchen staff start their day around 8 a.m. depending on if they are helping with breakfast or not. If not, they are starting to prepare lunch for the day. Depending on the meal for that day, the time it takes to prepare the meal varies.

Being a part of the lunch staff can be very rewarding. Sarah Brooks, current Director of Nutrition Services, said, ”Another desirable factor about joining the Nutrition Services team is that we get to see and feed the future leaders of our world: our students.” The scheduling can match up nicely with their children who might also be going to school here in Owatonna. If there is a snow day they can get to be home with their children, or if there is an early release they get to be with their kids.

The lunch staff are much needed here at OHS. The shortage in their jobs can affect staff and students’ days in ways we might not realize.Ms. Brooks said, “We have had several amazing new staff members join our team this year which has provided some much needed assistance in those kitchens.

The new additions to our lunch staff have allowed for lunch to be better for students and staff. When there is a shortage the district makes sure the required tasks get done. Extra jobs such as extra fruit or vegetables or even a la carte closing can be a result of these staff shortages here at OHS. But when required these shortages can even result in changes in the meal for that day or others on our teaching and management staff to help serve lunch.

With the new staff at the high school there is no longer a shortage here. The district is still looking to find more people to fill jobs around the other schools in the area. The jobs would also bring more people in the positions needed for the growing community here in Owatonna.