Continuing utensil shortages challenge cafeteria visitors, food providers

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Continuing utensil shortages challenge cafeteria visitors, food providers

This photo of a cafeteria utensil bin was taken three minutes after the start of the HS lunch period.

This photo of a cafeteria utensil bin was taken three minutes after the start of the HS lunch period.

Photographer: Jacob S.

This photo of a cafeteria utensil bin was taken three minutes after the start of the HS lunch period.

Photographer: Jacob S.

Photographer: Jacob S.

This photo of a cafeteria utensil bin was taken three minutes after the start of the HS lunch period.

Jacob S., Reporter

Let us set the scene: three minutes into lunch, and there are no forks left. Empty tray compartments between the spoons and the knives. And students have to resort to using spoons. This is the picture students see every lunchtime at ASD. The fork shortage has started once again.

The lack of available forks in the cafeteria has been an ongoing problem for quite some time. In previous years, up to 40 forks were lost weekly. Ms. Marcia Jones, a middle-school language arts teacher, noted that previously, a group of 8th-grade service students began a campaign to resolve the issue by reducing accidental loss.

Among other strategies, the group produced a satirical video in the vein of a Public Service Announcement portraying the “endangered” forks as potential victims of poachers:

The campaign led to a much-improved average of only two forks being lost each week. 

Unfortunately, this trend has not been maintained. Mr. Domnick Soares, the manager of JazzCafe, expressed his concerns over the recent reductions in cutlery and bowls. He said he is speaking with school officials to request they purchase both more forks and more bowls. 

JazzCafe is responsible for cooking, cleaning, and keeping stock on every unit of cutlery in the middle and high school. Mr. Soares claims that “students will [often] take forks and hide them or take them home,” which leads to a shortage in forks.

Interestingly, ASD is not the only school to have such a bizarre crisis. Other schools like the Northwestern College in Iowa, the Stuff Aukland newsroom, several offices, and more, have gone through the same events. If you would like to look into this further, several links are provided below.

Recently, the cafeteria resorted to using plastic forks instead of metal ones, but this temporary solution has caused other problems for a school attempting to be environmentally friendly.

Plastic endangers the environment, and many students and faculty members report disliking the poorer quality utensils.

JazzCafe asked that students be respectful and simply replace the cutlery and plates in the designated area rather than mindlessly throwing them into wastebaskets or stashing them for their own individual use. Doing this makes it easier for everyone to enjoy their meal. ASD and JazzCafe are doing their best to keep the staff and students satisfied during the day.

Ms. Jones encouraged more high school students to “take a stand about this problem, outside [of] the EFFECT club” and believes that this “would be a step in the right direction.” For the sake of the school community, they ask students to please respect the cafeteria and put forks and plates away in the correct areas.