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I’m a lunch lady. 19 years ago I said “yes” and accepted a job as a lunch lady. I took the job so I
could work when my son was in school, so that I could be off when he was off from school, and so that I
could meet people in the community. My lunch lady job fulfilled all of those things.

What picture comes to mind when you hear the words “lunch lady?” Do you see lunch ladies as they are
depicted in the media? Hairnet, dirty apron, mole, facial hair, heavy set, and a frown. Lunch ladies have
a bad reputation.

I admit that we lunch ladies do wear hairnets and aprons. We sometimes have facial hair, moles and
frowns. Since we work around food, the pounds can pile on. Let’s face it, as women get older; some of
these traits are inevitable. But, most of us love our jobs.

Is it an easy job? No way! There are not many wimpy lunch ladies. Our job has us running around,
lifting heavy boxes, cooking, cleaning, and greeting our customers with a smile. Some days it’s hard
to smile, especially when our knees and feet hurt, our budgets are cut and the kids, well… they can be
ornery at times. But I love my job. I love the ordering, cooking and the cleaning. Truthfully, I don’t love
the cleaning but I do like 90 percent of my daily routine.

I never dreamed of being a doctor, lawyer or movie actress. What I wanted was a job that paid the bills.
I wanted to be home with my son for as long as I could so I quit my secretarial job and went into food
service, where I could get hours that allowed me to be with my son. I never thought that it would be a
career, but it turns out that I love my job. I am good at it too! I found my niche. I get the summers off
which allow me to work on other projects and recover from all the pressures of the job.

Many lunch ladies don’t like the words “lunch lady.” But I now embrace the words. Those words are
how the kids know me.

Some days are hard but at the end of the day, there’s a since of accomplishment, a sense of a job well
done, a sense of whew… I did it again. Everyday can be different, whether it’s a different menu or a
piece of equipment goes on the fritz, forcing you to improvise a whole new menu.

I hope that if you are a lunch lady, you hold your head up high, look your customers in the eye and
say, “I enjoy being here. I enjoy serving you. I enjoy being part of a team that feeds our children.”
Sometimes a school breakfast and school lunch is the only meal a child gets during the day. Sad, but this
is true.

This website is to promote lunch ladies everywhere, to have somewhere to submit a story, post a photo
or find out about things happening in food service. I hope you come back and visit this website often.

Facts about me: I am married and have a son that just graduated from Ithaca College in NY. I enjoy, the
beach, books, taking fun classes, and making people laugh.

I dislike cottage cheese, cheap people who don’t tip well, and being told I can’t do something.

My favorite book is “The Secret,” but I love reading novels that are about people, scandals and mystery.
During the summers I read about two a week.

Favorite movies are The Wizard of Oz, Shawshank Redemption, The Notebook, Fried Green Tomatoes,
Sommersby, (or anything with Richard Gere or George Clooney).

I love old time Funk music from the ‘80’s like the Gap Band and the Disco era.

I am writing a book about how a woman became a lunch lady and about the things that happen to her at
work. (Sound like anybody you know?) To read more about my book, see the “My Book” page.
Anecdote of the Week
Ode to the Lunch Lady - Submitted Jane Broberg

We toil and sweat in the middle school kitchen.
With laughter, tears, and even some bitchin...
Is it the generous pay you ask?
Why heavens no, please pass the flask.

We ove our jobs for many a reason.
But #1 is the summertime season!
The smells, the clatter and constant chatter
And the children's smiles are what really matter.

Ovens wafting with the smell of homemade bread,
Or do you prefer the aroma of chocolate chip cookies instead?
Chicken nuggets, spaghetti and sloppy Joes,
To find out kitchen, just follow your nose.

The government would like to spoil our fun,
Their ever changing rules have us under the gun.
What temp did you say the pizza should be?
What size scoop goes in the peas?

Bruises, cuts and too many burns,
When it comes to these we all take turns,
Shredded fingernails and aching feet,
Without these, our day wouldn't be complete.
We feel we have the best job there could ever be,
Because we work with such wonderful ladies you see!

Submitted to me by someone who wished to be anonymous.


Lunch Lady Poem

We love the hairnets, the aprons and smiles.

The meals that you cook keep us going for miles.

Buts it's not just the meals; it's your kindness and care.

We think you are wonderful and love the meals you prepare.

Submitted by: Room M101

Do you think the new Child Nutrition Regulations are working?
No, but notify parents..0%
No, this is stealing.0%
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