By: Kylee Smith, Contributing Writer
Have you ever thought about the challenges and work that go into feeding hundreds of kids, let alone it being done by three people?
Marcia Brooks, Candy Morris and Ashley Griggs are the three wonderful nutrition service employees at Centralia High School.
When COVID-19 first struck, the kitchen staff did face some obstacles. Brooks mentioned how they had to put all the food in styrofoam containers for the students. This was different than before COVID, as students previously served themselves after retrieving the plate of hot food being served that day.
Marcia Brooks has worked at the Centralia R-VI School District for 15 years. Brooks has also worked at other schools in Centralia, including Chance Elementary School and Chester Boren Middle School. Brooks says, “By far, the High School is my favorite school to work at. I will retire here.” When asked what is the hardest part about her job, Brooks says, “Depending on the day, and how many food options they have, it can be labor intensive.”
Ashley Griggs has worked in the kitchen at Centralia High School for one year. Prior to this school year, Griggs was part of the kitchen staff at CES. Griggs enjoyed working at the elementary school because of the little kids. She says, “They were just too cute.” In addition to working at CHS, Griggs also works at Prenger Foods in Centralia.
When asked about the changes of COVID-19 and how they affected Griggs, she said, “I started after Covid and what was a change to everyone else was normal to me.” Griggs’s favorite part of working in the kitchen are her lovely co-workers and seeing the kids. The most difficult part of the jobs for Griggs is knowing how much food to make.
Morris faced the same changes that Brooks dealt with when Covid-19 first started, Morris said, “We went with it.”
The most rewarding part of the job to Brooks is, “Feeding the kids. They make my day. Lots of smiles, laughter and thank you’s!”
Griggs feels the most rewarding part is, “joking around with the kids and also knowing that we fed them.”