Why the food is off the ‘Charts’

Colin Dodd

More stories from Colin Dodd

Dispenser despair
April 23, 2019

Colin Dodd

Food is restocked at the “Mustang Grill” all of it supplied from Chartwells

Being a student at DGS, you’ve probably bought something from the Cafeteria. Depending on the sensitivity of your taste buds, you may have begun to wonder where exactly this food comes from, and the answer is that it changes at least once for every student’s high school career.

The most recent change was in 2016, from Quest to Chartwells, and DGS may be changing again rather soon as a contract with a certain distributor normally only lasts 2-5 years.

When a contract ends, DGS surveys a new contract. DGS Associate Principal Omar Davis shed some light onto what exactly that entails.

“We have certain things as a priority as a building, healthy food options, convenient food options and options that kids will enjoy. We need to provide what we need, the priorities, at a respectable cost to taxpayers,” Davis said.

These requirements are sent out and possible vendors respond with their offers. In 2016, the school decided Chartwells had the best offer.

After a contract is made, it is highly unlikely to see it be broken. The transition is started quickly and over the small time frame of summer. The new group is required to come in and inspect the school’s appliances and storage to see what can be handled by the school’s staff.

The effort put into inspecting and planning is quite large and far too disturbing to be conducted during a school day, so once the work is done, the contract is locked.

Many of you have probably remarked that we still have the same “restaurants” to choose from despite distributors changing. All food groups tend to follow a general outline but the only real change is the ingredients which, from the student’s perspective, comes at a higher price. Junior Gavin Fister offered his opinion on the change.

“I think that the price went up, [but the] quality didn’t go up. The extra quarter you gotta carry around now is kind of a pain,” Fister said.

But this extra quarter is actually going towards our health. Every year the school aims to find food groups that are healthier for students. Senior Ashley Stephenson recalled her observations of the lunchroom from the last two years.

“There’s a lot of healthier options, and we don’t have things like the mashed potatoes before that weren’t the healthiest,” Stephenson said.

If you love the school lunch or prefer to call it slop, you don’t really need to worry about it. These contracts are a bit similar to weather here in Illinois, just wait a bit, it’ll change in a year or two.