Garden bar returns to cafeteria after its COVID-19 shutdown


By Hayden Resch

After a long two years the garden bar returns. No more getting salad in bags.

Baylen Monson, JagWire copy editor

On Monday, April 4, district food services brought back the ever-popular garden bar, featuring a variety of vegetables and salad items for students to pick from. The larger salad bar located in the middle of the lunch line used for meals like pasta bar and Asian bar, however, will not be returning until next year. 

 These aspects of the lunch line were previously closed due to COVID-19, being taken away in the spring of 2020 before online learning began. When hybrid learning was in place the following year, garden bar items were served in pre-packaged condition in order to comply with the previous disease mitigation protocols. 

Cafeteria staff member Debbie Unger explains that measures are still being taken to keep the lunch line as clean as possible. 

“We are sanitizing all the tongs and utensils now that [students] are able to do a buffet style [lunch],” Unger said. 

The garden bar’s popularity can be accredited to the options it gives students, and the freedom to put different amounts of toppings on their salads. 

“We went from having 22 options to having three options,” said Unger, “ I think people are just excited to see it.” 

For junior Ryleigh Kennedy, a fan of the garden bar, it provides more nutritious options for lunch. 

“Everyone likes it because it’s so good, and it gives people an option for healthy eating,” Kennedy said. 

On the first day alone, the cafeteria went through 12 pounds of carrots and eight pounds of cucumbers, making those the most popular items for students to grab. Spinach, lettuce, and onions are among some of the other most popular items. 

“I saw a lot of kids have onions on their salad,” Unger said, “ I also liked having the onions there in case [students] want to throw that on their hamburger or chicken patty.” 

With the return of the garden bar, students can get back to familiarity and normalcy that the lunch line was before 2020. 

“It was very restricted [without the garden bar],” Kennedy said, “ I’m glad that it’s back.”

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