SJS resumes Senior Tea, serves “grab & go” boxed lunches


Courtesy of the St. John's instagram

Parents provided Potbelly sandwiches to the Class of 2021 for their first Senior Tea.

Kate Vo, Staff Writer

During a normal lunch, students hurry to the cafeteria to buy pasta, dumplings, baked potatoes and hamburgers. This year, St. John’s has shifted from the traditional buffet-style hot lunches to “grab & go” boxed lunches. Each boxed lunch contains a PB&J, turkey sandwich or pizza with chips and fruit. Teachers can also choose a salad or sandwich.

“We’re so used to making these elaborate lunches,” Director of Food Services Alan Mallett said. “We get great reactions from everyone and that’s one of the highlights of the day, but now we have to scale it way back.”

Cafeteria staff prepare the boxed lunches each morning and distribute food as efficiently as possible during lunchtime. To minimize crowding, specific seating zones have been assigned to each advisory for lunch around the Quad, Plaza and Great Lawn. 

“We’re keeping the safety of both students and staff in mind,” Mallett said. “We’re getting them in and out.”

In the absence of the labor-intensive process of providing elaborate lunches, the cafeteria staff have redirected their attention to implementing new cafeteria developments. The cafeteria team works with Second Servings, a nonprofit that delivers leftovers to homeless shelters, and is seeking to partner with a composting company in efforts to reduce food waste and become more environmentally conscious. 

It’s not quite the same, but we’ll do our best to keep everyone happy.”

— Alan Mallett

“With Thanksgiving coming around, the only thing that can change this outlook is if we get a better hold on the environment and prioritize the safety of students, faculty and staff alike,” Mallett said.

Many students appreciate the convenience of the new boxed lunches.

“I’ve really enjoyed the new box lunches,” junior Nyla Hartigan said, “It’s easy, efficient and I don’t have to go through the hassle of packing a new lunch each morning.”

On Nov. 9, seniors gathered on the Quad for the first Senior Tea of the year. The long-standing tradition allows seniors to eat catered food once a week.

“I’m glad they’re bringing the tradition back, especially since seniors don’t get all of the privileges that we would get in a normal year,” senior Leena Hanson said.

Despite the changes to dining this year, administrators and faculty have taken multiple steps to ensure that students and staff alike are as accommodating as possible.

“We’re still gonna make the best lunch possible,” Mallett said. “It’s not quite the same, but we’ll do our best to keep everyone happy.”