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Secrets Behind NU Cafeteria Food

Interview with Diana Morgado, Food Service Manager

Every school day at lunch, NU students line up in the cafeteria to get food. Once they reach the front of the line, all the students have to do is punch their student ID into a little machine to receive a free meal. But what goes on behind the scenes to make this possible? In an interview with Diana Morgado, Food Service Manager at Nevada Union High School, the answers are revealed. 

Q: Where does the food come from?

A: It comes from Sysco, it comes from Gold Star, and Danielson, which are food product suppliers. Really we get shipment from lots of different places. We order our bread, which is our rolls, our buns… from Truckee River Sourdough Baking Company. 

Q: How is the food made?

A: We make most of the food here. We have things already prepped, but we make most of it here. Hamburger patties, chicken tenders, are pre-made.

Q: How does the food get here?

A: It’s shipped here on big trucks, we have 5 deliveries a week. Milk and bread is also a shipment. 

Q: How is the menu decided?

A: Our director of food services, Teresa Ruiz, decides the menu.

Q: Does the food have to go through any sort of screening?

A: We check the merch as it comes in, and if it’s frozen, in boxes, damaged, etcetera. If it’s fresh it goes in the fridge, if it’s frozen it goes in the freezer.

Q: How is the food paid for?

A: The kitchen is mostly self-sustaining. We cater to Deer creek, Seven Hills, Ghidotti, and that money and grant money is what pays for everything. And the state gives you a certain amount for each student and types of food. 

Q: Who is in charge of all this?

A: The Director of Food Services: Teresa Ruiz. She’s in charge of the whole district. 

Q: How do you figure out how much food to serve each day?

A: Numbers: for example, today we did 27 pizzas. We keep count of how much we give out each day. Today we did 209 servings of tenders. Sometimes we have leftovers. I look at my calendars and check out how many meals we did, and do an average on how many we need. I try to get it pretty close because we don’t like waste. We’re pretty good at estimating. We have Smuckers just in case we run out. 

Q: What are the specifics of your job?

A: My job is the manager. My assistant manager and I go over menus with Teresa, go over and check inventory, do our paperwork. We estimate how many meals go out and look at all the meals that go out each day. We have a staff of eight people working on it. I also help everybody here as a manager. If people have a question, they go to me first. I will dole out who’s doing what. If there are any changes, Teresa tells me and I take care of it. 

Special thanks to the Nevada Union kitchen staff for making over seven hundred meals a day! 

Nevada Union kitchen staff (Marilyn Ward)
Diana Morgado, Food Service Manager, at Nevada Union (Marilyn Ward)
Whitney Murphy (10) with a cafeteria smoothie (Marilyn Ward)
Cafeteria parfait (Marilyn Ward)
Cafeteria burrito with chips and an orange (Marilyn Ward)
A Menu Production Record for Friday, 5/10/24 (Marilyn Ward)
NU Kitchen sink (Marilyn Ward)
NU Kitchen stove (Marilyn Ward)
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About the Contributor
Marilyn Ward
Marilyn Ward, Staff Writer
Marilyn Ward is a sophomore and a staff writer. This is her first year in student media at Nevada Union. During her free time she likes to read and ride her mountain bike. In her future she hopes to get into a good college and own many dogs.

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