A Tribute to Our Lunch Staff

A tribute to the people who help us to stay healthy day in and day out.

Students+enjoy+a+delicious+and+healthy+lunch+in+the+Bronx+Science+cafeteria%2C+thanks+to+the+hard+work+and+dedication+of+the+cafeteria+workers.

Rasheed Hossain

Students enjoy a delicious and healthy lunch in the Bronx Science cafeteria, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the cafeteria workers.

Last summer, I worked at Reading 4 Smiles, a summer camp dedicated to teaching career-oriented skills to marginalized youth. At the program finale, I was working in the kitchen, preparing and serving food to my students and their parents. I never thought that serving food would be such a daunting task, but as I learned firsthand how much work is involved, I thought about our Bronx Science school lunch staff and how much work they do on a daily basis.

Going into my senior year, I realized that I had formed many  amazing connections at Bronx Science, whether it was with friendships that will last well  beyond high school, or with my bonds with teachers that inspire my success. However, one group I feel that has so often been overlooked despite the invaluable roles they play in our day-to-day lives is the lunch staff. 

So, I tried  to get to know the people whom I saw almost every day for the last three years but never really spoke to, and it was amazing to see how such small strides in getting to know somebody can turn into something more. A simple “Good morning” and “Thank you” goes a long way in getting to know someone. Eventually, those greetings would turn into a “How has your day been going?” and real conversations could ensue. 

Catching up with lunch aid Mrs. Kamla Gopaul became a normal part of my 7th-period lunch experience this year. I remember how before winter break we talked about our plans for the upcoming week, and I told her how I would be going on a cruise to the Caribbean with my family. She then went on to tell me about her Guyanese-Caribbean heritage and how she loves making foods like chow mein and ox tail, both of which are delicacies in her culture. I jokingly told her to bring some to serve for lunch, and since that day Mrs. Gopaul and I have become lunchtime friends. 

My friendship with Mrs. Gopaul is what inspired me to write this article. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to write about the lunch staff, besides shining light on individuals who deserve more recognition. So, after lunch was done being served the other day, I went up to her and asked what she enjoys most about her job. 

“My children are around your ages and go to school in the city as well, so I feel like it is my duty to care for you all the way I would want them to be treated,” said Mrs. Gopaul. Mrs. Gopaul’s fellow lunch aid Mrs. Dorsette Thomas overheard our conversation, and she came over, clearly excited to be featured in the school paper. “I love my job because seeing you all happy and healthy every day makes me happy,” said Mrs. Thomas. 

The lunch staff at Bronx Science is truly like no other, working day in and day out to make sure that our trip is worth it.

The lunch staff at Bronx Science is truly like no other, working day in and day out to make sure that our trip is worth it.

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