Student nutrition assistant Pam King adds value to school’s Snack Shack
King helped start the Snack Shack in 2010 and has used it as an opportunity to strengthen relationships with students ever since
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“How are you today?” student nutrition assistant Pam King asks each student as she hands them their requested snack from the Snack Shack. Each student, in return, smiles and answers, either stopping to have a full conversation or continuing throughout the lunchroom.
King, sometimes known to students as “Cookie Pam,” has been running the Snack Shack since its opening in 2010. The venue, located on the east side of the commons, was ideal to control student traffic throughout the commons, according to King.
“We were running out of serving room and we were having some theft issues so it served the purpose of getting all those kids that wanted [snacks] out of there so the line could be out here and I could hand it to them,” King said.
King thinks that the Snack Shack is frequently utilized by students because it provides a quick, easy way to grab something to eat at lunch or before school.
“I think it’s most effective because kids are going to want snacks no matter what and it really gives you some different options,” King said. “I have a lot of kids that just get a bottle of water of bag of chips and of course, the some need some chocolate to get them through the day.”
Because the Snack Shack lies outside of the usual lunchroom traffic pattern, King said she has more time to interact with and get to know students.
“I have more time than I did when I was just serving,” King said. “Especially in the morning, after we started breakfast, is when I think I started having a little more time to discuss and see how things were going with the kids.”
Among these students is senior Julia Kemp, who said that she cherishes her continuous interactions with King.
“I make it a priority in my day to interact with [King] at least once because she makes me smile,” Kemp said. “Whether it be starting my day in her breakfast line or just at lunch, my day instantly gets better.”
Kemp said that although the Snack Shack is beneficial to students because of the services it provides, the real advantage of the store is the woman that runs it.
“Other schools may just have Snack Shacks, but we have a Snack Shack and [King],” Kemp said. “You can’t beat that.”