Administration looks forward to lunch program redesign


While the Jesuit lunch system has remained the same for many years, the administration may be looking ahead to a more efficient redesign.

The Jesuit lunch program is popular for its well-known cookies and friendly parent volunteers, but it is also infamous for long lines and waits.

“It’s taken me up to ten minutes [to get my food],” sophomore Jackson Manlove said.

Each student receives points in the form of a punch card or tickets, and these points must be received or punched out by parent volunteers each time a student purchases food. The process can often back up lines that reach near the middle of the cafeteria.

“The Jesuit lunch program is done on a fairly tight budget. We have two or three employees,” Chief Financial Officer Ken Foley said. “Every single day we have 23 or 24 parents volunteers come in every day to help serve.”

Some students often find themselves losing their lunch cards or fighting through crowds of people to get their lunches, sparking curiosity about how to improve the system. 

“I think they should have automated lunch cards on your proxy cards,” senior Ryan McKelligon said. “You wouldn’t have to worry about losing [anything].”

While the program may have once been efficient for a smaller-sized school, the population size has expanded considerably in recent years, sparking talks of a cafeteria remodel to accommodate the increase in students purchasing hot lunch.

“Not only is the lunchroom full at lunch but the commons is full, too,” Mr. Foley said. “For us to take up space in the lunchroom to put in a [new] point-of-sale system would mean there would be less seating, which is not something we could do.”

With the general size of the cafeteria and kitchen as the main obstacles, a cafeteria remodel would take considerable planning and time to carry out.

“We just finished a process which we call the Facilities Master Plan,” Mr. Foley said. “It’s basically planning for not only the cafeteria but the whole campus. Replacing the cafeteria and student center is towards the top.”

The Facilities Master Plan is intended to lay out the infrastructure of the future of the school for the next 25 years. This past year, the administration determined through this plan to remodel the cafeteria. Students will have to wait several years down the road before action is taken to remodel.

“I would love to have a card swipe system where you could pay with a credit card, but again, we don’t have the space,” Mr. Foley said. “Right now there’s just not a lot of room for automation.”