By Victor O'Brien
Killeen Daily Herald
When students at three Killeen ISD schools return to classes Aug. 25, they will find the cafeteria menu has changed.
Renovations at Mountain View Elementary School, Reeces Creek Elementary School and Cedar Valley Elementary School mean cold sacked lunches of ham and turkey sandwiches, corndogs and hot dogs will replace hot lunches of spaghetti, lasagna and chicken nuggets alongside baked beans, salads or canned fruits. Breakfast options will be cereal, cereal bars and muffins. Lunch side items will include baked beans, salads and canned fruits. Breakfast options will also include milk and fruit.
KISD Nutritionist Steve Murphy said the quality of the lunches and the price will remain the same, but only the style changes. In addition, those schools will have Pizza Hut catered on Fridays, similar to what high school students receive. The Pizza Hut food will not cost KISD any more because their contract price with Pizza Hut is comparable to the price of generic pizza.
"They'll be able to be treated just like the big kids," Murphy said. "The key thing is they just aren't getting pizza either. Every one of the meals meets USDA requirements – a fruit, a vegetable and milk. They're still getting good, rounded meals."
The cafeteria improvements will add a second serving line, new refrigerators, better tables and expanded offices and store rooms.
The renovations were necessary because at schools such as Reeces Creek, students had to be served lunch shortly after 10 a.m. just to feed more than 800 students. The second serving line means students will be fed faster, able to return to classes sooner and lunches will be able to start later.
During the renovations, food will be transported from nearby satellite schools. For example, half of Reeces Creek's kitchen staff will prepare the food at Ellison High School to be served by the rest of the kitchen staff at the Reeces Creek cafeteria. Similar projects were completed at other schools several years ago, Murphy said.
Murphy said construction began in the summer, but electrical hindrances forced the projects to be completed during the school year.
Parents were not notified of the change because the lunches will continue to meet USDA requirements by including fruits and vegetables, Murphy said. Also, the lunches will continue to be high quality.
The renovations are scheduled to be completed by December. Similar renovations will begin in January at Clear Creek, Hay Branch, Pershing Park and Nolanville elementary schools.
Contact Victor O'Brien at email@example.com or (254) 501-7468.
Elementary students to be served cold lunches until January:
Elementary students to be served cold lunches beginning in January: