New cafeteria updates

The West High cafeteria introduced new items including coffee shots, sushi, and vegan food. These changes come as staff encourages students to lead the conversation in controlling their food choices.


Aditi Borde

This year the West High Cafeteria has added new items such as coffee shots and sushi.

School lunch has usually gained a bad reputation in pop culture and on social media as being unhealthy, disgusting, and inedible. However, West High’s cafeteria has definitely stepped up their game and have now added diversity onto the school menu. 

West High cafeteria has now started selling Krispy Kreme coffee shots as an à la carte option. Cindy Smith, the district’s purchasing and procurement specialist for the nutrition department at ICCSD, first decided to add the shots of coffee to the menu when she was approached by a broker trying to sell the product.

 “I have all kinds of brokers to come in and try to sell me stuff all the time. So we looked at surrounding areas to see how well they were going, she said.” 

Smith first tested the products with kids who went to Liberty High to see how much they would enjoy the product.

“We did a pilot program at Liberty and the kids went crazy for them and they said ‘This is great,'” she said.

Favour Alarape ’21 was one of the very first to try the coffee shots.


“I think it’s a little sketchy for it to be that much caffeine in that small amount and being able to take it in one swallow is even more sketchy. I was like ‘Is this even legal?'” 

Alarape first saw the shot of coffee when ordering lunch and decided to try it out.

“It didn’t really feel much different since I took it midday and I usually have a lot of energy,” Alarape said.

Smith also added sushi packets that are available on the à la carte at lunch for students. The school district is also trying out new plant-based products such as the black bean burger and chicken nuggets that are more environmentally friendly.

Students are quite opinionated when it comes to lunchtime offerings. Smith and lunch staffers have been very persistent trying to get students to express their preferences. The district has set up tasting tables to get students to try new foods to add to the menu however students have been reserved about tasting the new options

“Nobody wants to step up and say ‘You know I’ll taste it,'” Smith said. “It’s not like your required payments. You know it’s not some exotic fruit from a foreign land that nobody’s heard of.

“The first step is to let the kitchen managers at their buildings know, what it is that they’re looking for, to see whether we can get A B or C in and we can always look at different things,”Smith said. 

Smith and kitchen manager Julie Peterson have come up with a new system that would help with getting feedback to kitchen staff members and the district office on things that people enjoy or dislike.


“When I get products, samples in of stuff in, Julie and the other managers have worked with us trying to come up with a form that we can put this on the product or the wrapper, so you can taste it, you know, check it out,” Smith said. “And then give us feedback so that we can know.”

According to Smith, if students want to change the menu they have to be the one to initiate it, even in something as small as the menu of the school cafeteria. 

“We would be more than happy to work with [students] because you’re part of the building. And we all work together to help meet the needs of the students. But if you don’t tell us your needs, we’re kind of running blind,” Smith said.